The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation on an appeal by former Union Telecom Minister Sukh Ram challenging his conviction in the telecom scam case of 1996 by a special court here.

The court has sentenced him to five years' imprisonment in the case holding him guilty of awarding a contract to private company, Haryana Telecom Limited (HTL), to supply cables to the Central Department of Telecom (DoT) at exorbitant rates for a consideration.

Challenging his conviction in the case, Sukh Ram also sought suspension of his sentence and grant of bail till disposal of his appeal. He sought bail on the grounds of his poor health and old age.

On his bail plea, Justice Suresh Kait asked the Tihar Jail Superintendent to submit a medical report on his health condition while he is serving five-year imprisonment in jail. Special Judge (CBI) R. P. Pandey held the former Minister of State for Communication with independent charge in the P. V. Narasimha Rao government guilty on charges of taking bribe, criminal misconduct and abuse of official position, besides criminal conspiracy.

This is the third conviction for Sukh Ram. In February 2009, he was convicted for possessing disproportionate assets worth over Rs.4.25 crore, which he could not account for. In 2002, he was sentenced to three years in jail in for causing a loss of Rs 1.66 crore to the government in the award of a contract to supply communication equipment to a Hyderabad-based firm.

Sukh Ram's co-accused in the case, D.S. Choudhary, then Chairman of HTL, died during trial of the case.