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Sukh Ram gets bail

Staff Reporter
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High Court takes his old age into consideration

The Delhi High Court on Monday suspended the five-year sentence of former Union Telecom Minister Sukh Ram and granted him bail in the telecom case of 1996 considering his health condition and old age.

Justice Kait asked him to furnish a bail bond of Rs.1 lakh with two sureties of like amount.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had opposed his bail plea submitting that he had been convicted twice and is a habitual offender. The Court, however, admitted his plea after going through the medical report submitted by the Tihar Central Jail authorities which said he was suffering from heart disease and had cervical spondylitis.

Sukh Ram had sought bail while filing an appeal against his conviction by a special court for CBI cases here.

The trial court had sentenced him to five-year imprisonment holding him guilty of awarding a contract to a private company, Haryana Telecom Limited (HTL), to supply cables to the Central Telecom Department (DoT) at exorbitant rates for a consideration.

Special Judge (CBI) R. P. Pandey had held the former Union Minister of State for Communication with independent charge in the P. V. Narasimha Rao Government guilty of taking bribe, criminal misconduct and abuse of official position, besides criminal conspiracy.

On August 16, 1996, the CBI had searched Sukh Ram's residential premises and recovered over Rs.1.16 crore contained in bags and suitcases. From one suitcase, an amount of Rs.9.5 lakh was recovered. Inside this suitcase, an envelope was discovered containing Rs.3 lakh in currency notes of Rs.500 denomination and a visiting card of Sukh Ram's co-accused in the case, D. S. Choudhary, then Chairman of HTL. He died during trial of the case.

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