Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu surrendered before a court in Patiala on Friday and was sent to the Patiala central Jail, a day after being sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment by the Supreme Court in a 1988 road rage death case.
Senior advocate H P S Verma, who accompanied Sidhu to the court, said the former Punjab Congress president surrendered before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Amit Malhan, who signed the conviction warrant and ordered him to be sent to the jail.
The 58-year-old surrendered shortly after 4 pm, and was taken for the mandatory medical examination, conducted at the Mata Kaushalya Hospital.
After the medical check-up, he was taken to the jail in a police jeep.
Some party leaders including Navtej Singh Cheema, Ashwani Sekhri, Hardial Singh Kamboj, Pirmal Singh and Sidhu's supporters accompanied him from his home to the court, which is close to his residence.
Patiala is the native town of the former India cricketer.
Cheema drove Sidhu, who was dressed in a blue-coloured 'pathani suit' and was wearing dark goggles, to the court in a Toyota Land Cruiser from the former cricketer's home in Patiala.
This came just hours after the former Punjab Congress president approached the Supreme Court seeking a few weeks to surrender and undergo the one-year imprisonment.
The top court bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and J B Pardiwala told senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Sidhu, that the judgment on one-year rigorous imprisonment was passed by a special bench, and that he can file the application and mention it before the Chief Justice.
Singhvi said he will try and mention the matter before the Chief Justice.
Interestingly, another high-profile prisoner lodged in jail here in connection with a drug case is Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia, who had contested against Sidhu from Amritsar East. Sidhu and Majithia had both lost the election to Aam Aadmi Party's Jeevanjot Kaur.
Back in Patiala, some former MLAs and supporters turned up at Sidhu's residence in the morning to show their support, but no prominent Congress leader from the state unit was seen either at his home or at the court with him.
However, Navtej Cheema downplayed this, saying everyone has expressed their moral support. Cheema also said Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had also conveyed her support over the phone.
"Sidhu ji will come back and shine once again," Cheema said.
Some of Sidhu's supporters said they will continue his 'Jittega Punjab' mission for the Congress.
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring and senior leader Partap Singh Bajwa also expressed their support to Sidhu on social media, with both saying in their tweets that while they respect the Supreme Court verdict, they stand by Sidhu and his family.
Congress MLA and former minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa had earlier said he did not see the SC verdict on Sidhu as a setback for the party and said that the victim's family got justice in the matter.
Outside the court in Patiala, Sidhu's media advisor Surinder Dalla said the Congress leader has undergone two to three surgeries and suffers from medical conditions like embolism and has a liver ailment.
Sidhu needs to take some medication and avoid a diet which has wheat flour, he said.
In 2015, Sidhu also underwent treatment for acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT) at a hospital in Delhi.
DVT is caused by a blood clot in a deep vein which hinders the normal blood flow.
Dalla said Sidhu has to wear a big plastic band on legs so that there is no clot formation on the legs. "He has a medical history, he is taking many medicines. These are our concerns."
Sidhu's wife and former MLA Dr Navjot Kaur had reached their Patiala residence from Amritsar on Thursday night.
The SC had on Thursday sentenced Sidhu to one-year rigorous imprisonment in the 34 year old case, saying any undue sympathy in imposing an inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice system and undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law.
A 65-year-old man, named Gurnam Singh, had died in the incident.
When reporters sought Sidhu's reaction to the verdict on Thursday, he had declined to comment.
However, he had later tweeted to say he 'will submit to the majesty of the law'.
Though the apex court had in May 2018 held Sidhu guilty of the offence of 'voluntarily causing hurt' to the man, it had spared him a jail term and imposed a fine of Rs 1,000.
Gurnam Singh's family had sought a review of the judgement, which was allowed by the SC.
Sidhu, a former BJP MP, had switched over to the Congress ahead of the 2017 assembly polls.
Sidhu began his political innings in 2004, contesting the Lok Sabha elections on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket from Amritsar, where he shifted his base from Patiala. He defeated Congress heavyweight R L Bhatia.
The former cricketer's relationship with the Badal family soured even though the Shiromani Akali Dal was a BJP ally then.
And then he had problems with the BJP after the party fielded Arun Jaitley from Amritsar in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Though he was accommodated in the Rajya Sabha later, the maverick politician quit the party to join the Congress.