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December 1, 2006
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday found Navjot Singh Sidhu, the former India cricketer-turned-commentator, guilty of culpable homicide, not amounting to murder, in a case dating back to an incident in Patiala in 1988. The sentencing will take place on Wednesday; the maximum sentence under the law is 10 years' imprisonment.
In the case, Sidhu and an associate had been charged with assaulting Gurnam Singh in a dispute over the parking of vehicles outside the State Bank of Patiala. The victim later died of his injuries. In 1999, Sidhu was acquitted by the Patiala district court but the Punjab government and the victim's son filed an appeal in the high court.
At the time of the incident Sidhu was one of India's frontline batsmen, on his way to establishing a reputation as a big-hitting opener. He played 51 Tests and 136 one-day internationals before retiring in 1999. His career post cricket has been as eventful; he first established a reputation as a TV commentator with his homespun "Sidhuisms". In the last national general elections he contested the Amritsar seat in his home state of Punjab, winning easily as a candidate of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party.
Sidhu reacted to the news by offering to resign his parliamentary seat, which will come as a blow to the BJP. Punjab is due for local elections next year and Sidhu was its star campaigner.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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