Source Pravda.Ru

India's court stays former cricketer Sidhu's conviction in road rage killing case

India's highest court suspended the conviction of former cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu Tuesday, allowing him to contest a seat in India's Parliament, a news report said.

The Supreme Court made the decision in response to a petition filed by Sidhu challenging a three-year jail term handed to him by a lower court over a road rage killing 18 years ago.

"The order of conviction is suspended," according to the court order as reported by the Press Trust of India.

The court will soon start hearing arguments from Sidhu's attorneys and the prosecution whether to confirm his conviction or drop the lower court's decision to hand him a jail term.

Sidhu spent one day in jail earlier this month but he was freed on bail the next day by the Supreme Court as he filed his appeal.

Sidhu's lawyers couldn't be immediately reached for comment as they were still in court.

In December, the Punjab and Haryana High Court sentenced Sidhu on charges of manslaughter for an incident in which a 65-year-old man died during a scuffle triggered by an argument over a parking space in 1988.

The court concluded that Sidhu and his friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu had punched Gurnam Singh after dragging him out of his car. Singh, who suffered heart problems, collapsed and died, reports AP.

Sidhu resigned his seat in India's Parliament as a member of the opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party after the High Court overturned the verdict of the trial court which had originally acquitted Sidhu and his friend.

He now plans to re-enter Parliament by contesting a by-election from the northern Indian city of Amritsar scheduled to be held next month, PTI said.

A dashing former Indian test opener, Sidhu scored 2,013 runs in 34 matches, including six centuries. He joined politics after quitting cricket.