Former cricketer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) Navjot Singh Sidhu was found guilty by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for his role in a road-rage incident resulting in the death of a middle-aged man in 1988. The HC verdict, hearing a petition of the Punjab Government and a relative of the victim, threw out a District and Sessions Court verdict that acquitted Siddhu in September 1999. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on December 6. On December 27, 1988, Siddhu, who was part of the Indian cricket team at that time, and his friends beat up Gurnam Singh who died later in a hospital. Siddhu was then charged under Section 304(II) of the Indian Penal Code.
As soon as the verdict was delivered, Siddhu resigned from the Parliament and from the BJP. His resignation letter to the Speaker of the Parliament seems to be a conditional resignation citing “an 18-year-old case arising out of an alleged road rage” and claiming to resigning "without resorting to technicalities with regard to the quantum of punishment" that would be given to him and without going into his “right to challenge the judgment.” However, this clever by half resignation was quickly rejected by the speaker “in its present form” as Rule 240 requires an MP to resign unconditionally and not with the caveats that Siddhu seemed to introduce. The said Rule clearly states that the resigning MP “shall not give any reason for his resignation.” Siddhu now says that he will not submit a new resignation and seemed to take shelter under the confusion and retain his seat by deceit while claiming to have resigned from the Parliament. However, The Lok Sabha Secretariat also pointed out that citizens may seek a bar on Siddhu or anyone if they do not get bail or is convicted at which point the matter will be sent to the President who will then direct the Election Commission to issue necessary notices. Later, Siddhu retracted earlier statements and promised to resend the letter in the right format and in conformance to rules.