Former Indian opener in a tangle December 6, 2006

Sidhu handed three-year suspended sentence

Cricinfo staff

Navjot Singh Sidhu has till January 31 to appeal to the Supreme Court © Getty Images

Navjot Singh Sidhu, the former Indian opener-turned-politician, has been sentenced to three years in prison for a 1988 murder case.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court, which found him guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder on December 2, awarded him the sentence under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code. He was also fined an amount of Rs. 1 lakh (approx. US $ 2,200).

However, Sidhu will not be arrested immediately as his sentence has been suspended till January 31, during which time he can appeal to the Supreme Court.

Sidhu and his friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu allegedly beat up Gurnam Singh in Patiala on December 27, 1988. Gurnam was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Sandhu said that the duo will approach the Supreme Court in case of an adverse verdict. "Even we feel sorry for the family of victim. The matter is now sub judice. After the sentence is declared, we'll approach the SC," he said.

Sidhu resigned from Parliament after the verdict, but has hinted that he would remain in politics and campaign during the Punjab Assembly elections in February.