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Jailed Navjot Sidhu likely to walk free by end of January

The Supreme Court in May this year had awarded one year sentence to Sidhu in a 1988 road rage case. He had on May 20 surrendered before a court and was sent to Patiala central Jail where he is currently lodged.

Navjot Singh Sidhu, the former President of Punjab Pradesh Congress. (File Photo)

Former Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has completed six months of his one-year sentence in a road rage case, is likely to be released in January, with multiple sources in state jail department suggesting the prison authorities have submitted a positive feedback on the cricketer-turned-politician’s behaviour.

The speculation about Sidhu’s possible release on January 26, when traditionally governments award remission to prisoners who exhibit good behaviour, gained credence after the Congress leader’s media adviser Surinder Dalla said that “Mission 2024 will starts as soon as Sidhu ji returns from jail”.“The fight to protect the rights of Punjab will continue. Punjab is still in depression. Sidhu had given the model to get it out of it. The engine of Punjab needs to be changed not repaired. Let us see,” Dalla said in a tweet in Punjabi on November 29.

He was probably referring to the “Punjab Model” that Sidhu had shared ahead of the Punjab assembly elections as a cure-all for the state’s financial problems.

The Supreme Court in May this year had awarded one year sentence to Sidhu in a 1988 road rage case. He had on May 20 surrendered before a court and was sent to Patiala central Jail where he is currently lodged.

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“In case of Sidhu, there is no report of any such behaviour, which is objectionable. In any case, he spends a lot of time meditating,” said a government official, adding that the Congress leader is working as ‘munshi’ in the jail.

The official added that as per the Punjab Jail Manual, every prisoner is entitled to a relief of four days for every month spent in jail. Till January next year, Sidhu would have accumulated 32 days of remission for eight months.

Another provision allows the Superintendent to remit another 30 days from a convict’s sentence. “This remission is allowed to almost all convicts. Only those whose conduct is way off the mark are denied this,” the official added.The official further said that the DGP (Jails) and ADGP (Jails) can grant another remission of additional 60 days. “This requires a political consent. First, Cabinet gives a nod to such remissions. Then, the file is sent to Governor for assent. Earlier, names of all the convicts were put in the same list and sent to the Governor. Now, Governor has made a rule that a separate file for every convict should be sent for remission,” said the official. If Sidhu manages to get all three remissions, he can walk out of jail four months earlier.

First published on: 02-12-2022 at 02:38 IST
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