Former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday evening surrendered before a Patiala court at around 4 pm to start serving a one-year rigorous imprisonment that was awarded to him by the Supreme Court a day earlier in a 1988 road rage case, in which a 65-year-old man, Gurnam Singh, was killed.
Sidhu was sent to Patiala Central Jail after his surrender.
Earlier in the day, Sidhu’s lawyers had approached the Supreme Court seeking time before the Congress leader’s surrender saying he had some medical issues to settle. Senior advocate AM Singhvi mentioned the request before a bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar on Friday.
“He will surrender but wants a few weeks to settle his medical health issues,” Singhvi told the court, praying for more time. Justice Khanwilkar, in turn, asked Singhvi to file a formal application and make the request before Chief Justice of India NV Ramana. “File a formal application… and mention before the Chief Justice’s court, then we will see,” said the court.
Sidhu then arrived at Patiala court at 4 pm to surrender and at about 5 pm taken to Mata Kaushalya Hospital in Patiala for a medical examination, following which he was taken to Patiala Central Jail, where he was lodged in barack number 10, as per Patiala Jail Superintendent Manjit Singh Tiwana.
Incidentally, Sidhu’s arch political rival Bikram Singh Majithia is also lodged in same jail in a drugs case.
On Friday, Navtej Singh Cheema, who contested unsuccessfully from Sultanpur Lodhi seat, drove Sidhu to Patiala courts. Apart from Cheema, Sidhu’s supporters — including ex-MLAs Ashwani Sekhri, Hardial Singh Kamboj, Surjit Singh Dhiman and around a dozen other senior party leaders, including former party MLAs reached out to Sidhu at his Patiala residence and accompanied him to the court.
The Congress leader wore a blue outfit with a red headgear as he arrived in court and appeared sombre.
Sidhu’s advisor Surinder Dalla told reporters outside Patiala courts that the Congress leader and former PPCC chief had a health issue and needed treatment so that “a clot is not formed in his leg”.
He added, “Our concern is if will be provided adequate medical treatment in jail. He does not need any VIP treatment, but should be given medical care he needs.”
Sidhu’s counsel in Supreme Court, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, later told The Indian Express, “We will exercise all our legal rights.”
He said a curative petition will be filed in the court, while adding, “Sidhu bows before the majesty of the law.”