The Delhi High Court on Monday granted bail to former telecom minister Sukh Ram and suspended the five year sentence awarded to him in a 1996 corruption case.
A bench of justice Suresh Kait suspended the sentence keeping in view his old age and various ailments. "I suspend the sentence till disposal of case," the court said. The court released him on bail considering he is an 86-year-old heart patient and keeping in view the medical report submitted by the Tihar Jail authorities, which said he suffered from heart diseases and cervical spondylitis.
It directed Sukh Ram to furnish two sureties of R10 lakh and asked him not to leave the country without the court's consent. The CBI had opposed his bail, saying he has been convicted twice earlier and is a habitual offender.
Sukh Ram, who had the telecom portfolio in P V Narasimha Rao's cabinet, was convicted on November 17 in a cable contract case. He was handed out five years jail term on November 19 and sent to jail.
He was convicted for misusing his official position during his tenure as Telecom Minister in award of a contract worth R30 crore to Haryana Telecom Limited, a private firm, to supply 3.5 lakh conductor kilometres of PIJF cables to the telecom department after taking R3 lakh as bribe.
Sukh Ram had earlier been convicted in two separate corruption cases in 2002 and 2009 but remained out of jail.