IF HIS IMPRISONMENT WAS FOR TWO YEARS OR MORE, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN DISQUALIFIED FOR FURTHER 6 YEARS AFTER RELEASE — HEMANT KUMAR
CHANDIGARH – Cricketer turned Politician turned famous TV celebrity Navjot Singh Sidhu, who also remained Lok Sabha member for two successive terms (2004-2014) from Amritsar Parliamentary as BJP MP Constituency, during which he also contested and won a bye-election in early 2007, followed by his four months stint as Nominated Member of Rajya Sabha from April to July, 2016 and further after leaving saffron party and joining Congress in early 2017, he then remained MLA of 15th Punjab Assembly (2017-2022) from Amritsar East Assembly Constituency during which he also remained a Cabinet Minister for first two years in then Capt Amarinder Singh Ministry has today 1st April 2023 got released from Central Jail, Patiala in which he underwent sentence of one year rigorous imprisonment under Section 323 IPC in a 1988 Road Rage Case since 20 May 2022 as awarded by the Supreme Court of India on 19 May 2022 in a review petition filed against Apex Court’s own Apr, 2018 verdict in which he was awarded only fine by Supreme Court in the same case. Of course, Sidhu has been released one and a half month before completion of his scheduled one year prison term which would otherwise have continued till mid-May 2023.
Meanwhile, after his release there is no legal prohibition of any sort on Navjot Sidhu contesting any (Public) Election, asserted Hemant Kumar, an Advocate at Punjab & Haryana High Court.
The Advocate however said that if Sidhu had been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of two years or more, then he would have been disqualified from contesting Election for a further period of six years since his release as provided under Section 8(3) of Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Of course, he can’t contest the upcoming 10 May 2023 Jalandhar Bye-Poll in Punjab as announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI) recently on 29 March since this LokSabha seat is reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Sidhu doesn’t belong to this category.
However in 18th LokSabha General Elections as scheduled in Apr-May 2024, he can contest Lok Sabha Poll from any Open Parliamentary Constituency be it in Punjab or any other part of the country. Also before that if there happens to be any Bye-Election of Punjab Assembly, if so, he can also contest the same.