The Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 19, 2007
Taking a cue from the stay of conviction of Navjot Singh Sidhu that enabled him to contest Amritsar Lok Sabha by-poll, Vikas Yadav sentenced to four-year imprisonment in the Jessica Lall murder case has moved the Supreme Court for a similar relief to fight the ensuing Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
Son of former Rajya Sabha MP DP Yadav, Vikas said the December 2006 Delhi High Court order sentencing him to four-year imprisonment for criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence has resulted into his disqualification under Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act to contest elections.
The High Court had sentenced prime accused Manu Sharma to life imprisonment while Vikas and two others got a jail term of four years each in the case.
Claiming that he was likely to be acquitted of the charges under Section 201 (destruction of evidence) and Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, he claimed that “irreparable” injury would be caused to him if the conviction and sentence were not stayed.
Vikas said he had contested the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections earlier too and had lost by a narrow margin of 400 votes only.
Citing the Sidhu judgment, he submitted that the apex court was empowered to stay the sentence as well as the order of conviction and requested it to pass an ex-parte order in his favour.
Submitting that he had not been charged with any offence that casts aspersions on his public dealings or morality, Vikas said he was “desirous of remaining in public life and wants to contest the election and face the electorate.”
“The appellant has also undergone the sentence that itself mandates reasonable and exceptional circumstances for the order of conviction to be stayed,” he submitted.
In an unprecedented order, a Bench of Justice G P Mathur and Justice R V Raveendran had on January 23 stayed the conviction of cricketer-turned-BJP politician Navjot Singh Sidhu in a road rage death case paving his way for contesting the Amritsar Lok Sabha by-election necessitated by his resignation.
Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had in December last year held Sidhu and co-convict Rupinder Singh Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder for the death of one Gurnam Singh in 1988 in Patiala and sentenced them to three-year imprisonment.