In a huge setback to former union minister Sukh Ram, convicted in a 1993 graft case, the Supreme Court Thursday asked him to surrender before a trial court to serve his three year jail term.
Refusing to interfere with the Delhi high court order which had upheld Sukh Ram's conviction and his jail term, the apex court also refused to give any relief to his accomplices, former bureaucrat Runu Ghosh and private telecom firm managing director P Rama Rao and asked them to surrender to serve their sentences.
A bench of justices P Sathasivam and J Chelameswar refused to grant any relief to the trio, saying it would hear their pleas only after they surrender before the court by evening.
The former minister and others were held guilty for being part of a criminal conspiracy to defraud the state exchequer by awarding a telecom equipment supply contract to Hyderabad-based Advanced Radio Masts (ARM) which had supplied inferior goods at a higher rate to the DoT.
While Sukh Ram and ARM's managing director P Rama Rao had been sentenced to three year in jail each, former Department of Telecom (DoT) deputy director general Runu Ghosh had been sentenced to two year's imprisonment for her role in the 1993 telecom scam case.
Sukh Ram had yesterday moved the Supreme Court seeking stay on the Delhi high court's December 21 order, which had upheld his conviction in the case. Ghosh and Rao had moved the apex court earlier for an immediate stay on the high court order.
While upholding their conviction, the high court had directed all the three accused to surrender before the trial court on January 5 to undergo three-year jail term.