1988 road rage case: Navjot Sidhu likely to be released on April 1 - Hindustan Times
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1988 road rage case: Navjot Sidhu likely to be released on April 1

By, Patiala
Mar 31, 2023 01:04 AM IST

Sidhu is likely to get a 45-day remission. His scheduled release from jail was on May 16.

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu is likely to be released from Patiala Central Jail on April 1, as per the officials of the prisons department.

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has been in jail since May 20 last year after the Supreme Court convicted him in a 1988 road rage case, imposing a one-year jail term. (HT File)
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has been in jail since May 20 last year after the Supreme Court convicted him in a 1988 road rage case, imposing a one-year jail term. (HT File)

The jail officials said Sidhu will be prematurely released for his good conduct. Sidhu has been in jail since May 20 last year after the Supreme Court convicted him in a 1988 road rage case, imposing a one-year jail term.

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Sidhu is likely to get a 45-day remission. His scheduled release from jail was on May 16.

“As per the Punjab prison rules, a convict, who serves a duty in prison and maintains good conduct, gets a remission of five days for every month he spends inside prison. On March 31, Sidhu will be entitled to a remission of 45 days, which will pave the way for his early release. He remained in jail for three days in 2007, making him eligible for release on April 1,” a jail official, who didn’t want to be named, said.

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The official explained that authorities have no discretion in this matter.

“It’s the duty of every jail to deduct five days for every month a prisoner spends in jail unless the convict is serving a term for a heinous crime. Sidhu was working as a clerk in the jail department, making him entitled to relief of five days every month. Jail authorities are bound by the Punjab prison rules, and no authority can deny such a relief to a convict having good conduct,” the official added.

The file for early release of Sidhu and 51 other prisoners, who were eligible for release under the scheme of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”, was moved in January by the jail department, but the Punjab Government denied the Congress leader any relief.

Sidhu, on May 20, 2022, had surrendered before the Patiala chief judicial magistrate (CJM) to serve the one-year prison term handed out to him by the Supreme Court in a 1988 road rage case.

Sidhu’s release will also change the political dynamics in the Punjab Congress. Sidhu is considered a close confidant of the Gandhi family. Sidhu didn’t meet the PPCC chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, former deputy CM Sukhjinder Randhawa and others when they visited him in Patiala jail. However, he remained in touch with politics through senior Congress leader Laal Singh, who has been vocally supporting him to ‘revive’ Congress’ fortune in the state after a drubbing in the 2022 state assembly polls.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Vishal Rambani is an assistant editor covering Punjab. A journalist with over a decade of experience, he writes on politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues. He has several investigative stories to his credit.

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