NEW DELHI: Amarinder Singh led Punjab government on Thursday favoured the Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict convicting and awarding a three-year jail term to its minister Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 1988 road rage case. The cricketer-turned politician, who deserted the BJP and joined the Congress days before the Punjab assembly election last year, holds the tourism portfolio in the Amrendra Singh Cabinet. A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul which is hearing the 30-year-old case was told by the state government that as per the evidence Gurnam Singh, a Patiala resident, had died after he was given fist blow by Sidhu. Appearing for the Punjab government, Advocate Sanram Singh Saron said “there is not a single evidence which suggest that the cause of death was cardiac arrest and not brain hemorrhage as concluded by the trial court”.He said, “The trial court verdict was rightly set aside by the High Court. Accused A1 (Navjot Singh Sidhu) had given fist blow to deceased Gurnam Singh leading to his death through brain hemorrhage”. Concluding his arguments, Saron said the trial court was wrong in its finding the man died of cardiac arrest and not brain hemorrhage.Citing the inquest report, the state government said that two prosecution witnesses — Jaswinder Singh and Avtar Singh were with Gurnam Singh when he was taken to the hospital and even there statements were recorded. Saron said he was trying to establish the presence of the witnesses as the trial court had doubted there presence in the hospital and even disbelieved their statements in which they have identified A1 (Navjot Singh Sidhu) but have not taken the name of A2 (Rupinder Singh Sandhu), a coaccused in the case.
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