Former union minister Sukh Ram on Thursday failed to get any relief from the Supreme Court which directed him to surrender before a trial court in a 1993 telecom scam case in which he faces a three year sentence but the veteran politician did not do so citing medical grounds.
Sukh Ram, 86, cited medical reasons for not surrendering as his counsel told Special CBI Judge Dharmesh Sharma that he is hospitalised after undergoing angiography owing to his cardiac ailments.
However, two other convicts -- former bureacrat Runu Ghosh and Hyderabad-based businessman P Rama Rao --surrendered before the judge and were sent to jail.
Earlier in the day, advocates for all three accused tried their best to convince the Supreme Court to grant them relief so that they would not have to surrender which was fixed for today.
The apex court, however, refused to entertain their plea saying that their appeal against the Delhi High Court would be listed for hearing only after they surrender before the trial court.
A bench of justices P Sathasivam and J Chelameswar refused to give any special treatment to Sukh Ram on health ground saying that there are enough facilities in jail also.
"We cannot show any special treatment to you," the bench said adding that there petitions would be heard on Monday if they comply the high court's order and surrender by evening.
Four hours after the apex court order, both Rao and Ghosh appeared before Special CBI Judge and surrendered. But the Sukh Ram was represented by his lawyer who informed the court about his illness.
The judge said Sukh Ram's plea that he be taken into judicial custody at the hospital itself will be heard on Friday.
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 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 on Wednesday 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 their jail terms.
Sukh Ram, Runu Ghosh and Rama Rao, were convicted on July 5, 2002 by a Delhi court under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The lower court had also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh each on them.
While convicting and sentencing the trio, the lower court had granted them interim bail to go in an appeal to the high court against their conviction. The high court too had extended their interim bail while hearing their appeals