Navjot Singh Sidhu spared jail term in 1988 road rage case: Almighty always helped me tide over difficult times, says minister

Chandigarh: Hours after the Supreme Court spared him a jail term in a 1988 road rage case, Punjab Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday said that the Almighty had always helped him tide over difficult circumstances.

Sidhu will not have to go to jail as the Supreme Court held him guilty only of causing hurt and let him off with a fine of Rs 1,000.

File image of Navjot Singh Sidhu. PTI

File image of Navjot Singh Sidhu. PTI

Speaking to media in Chandigarh after the apex court spared him the jail term in the 30-year-old road rage case, Sidhu said, "The Almighty has always helped me tide over difficult circumstances. It is the grace of God which has helped me through trying times."

The Supreme Court on Tuesday convicted Sidhu for voluntarily causing hurt to a 65-year-old man but spared him a jail term in the 1988 road rage case.

A bench of Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said Sidhu was guilty of Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and was fined Rs 1,000 for the offence.

After the verdict, Sidhu's supporters and party workers were in a jubilant mood and burst firecrackers outside his residence in Amritsar.

"Blessings and prayers of Punjab have been answered by the Almighty. I want to thank those who prayed for me and wanted that Navjot Singh Sidhu should come out of this (case) and at the same time, I pardon those who just to make political capital out of the whole thing pointed fingers at me," Sidhu said.

Earlier, the opposition SAD and BJP combine had launched an attack on Sidhu in connection with the road rage case and asked him to resign on moral grounds.

However, Sidhu said, "Today, it is not the time to point fingers at anyone...when you are on the side of the truth, there is no need to worry".

Sidhu said that he will be meeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi and thanking them for supporting him during difficult times.

"I will tell Rahul ji that my life and my every breath is for the people of Punjab... I also spoke to the chief minister and he congratulated me. I told him that my life is for Punjab... and till the time I do not see the state achieve its best, I will not even die," he said.

Sharing the mission and purpose of his life, the cricketer-turned-politician, who switched over to the Congress from the BJP days before last year's Assembly polls, said, "The whole world is my country and all mankind my brethren and to do good my religion. This has been the philosophy of my life. The desire in my heart is to see a prosperous Punjab."

"Truth does not see profit or loss. In the war of right or wrong, you can't afford to be neutral. The mission of Sidhu's life is to see Punjab once again become that Punjab as it was during the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh," he said.

"I live Punjab, I dream is like a tidal wave which engulfs every pore in my body and every pore sings Punjab," he said.

Without naming anyone, he hit out at those who make politics a profession to earn money. Like Sidhu, his wife Navjot Kaur also looked visibly relieved after the Supreme Court verdict.

"Our lives are dedicated for Punjab," she said.

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Updated Date: May 15, 2018 14:20:56 IST

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