Sukh Ram moves HC against his conviction

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram today moved the Delhi High Court challenging his conviction and sentencing by a trial court for taking Rs 3 lakh as bribe to award a lucrative contract to a telecom firm in 1996.

86-year-old Sukh Ram, who had held the Telecom portfolio in P V Narasimha Rao`s cabinet, was convicted last Thursday in a cable contract case. He was handed out five years jail term by Special CBI judge R P Pandey on Saturday and sent to jail. A petition on behalf of Sukh Ram against his conviction and sentencing was filed in the high court`s registry, said registry sources.

Sukh Ram had earlier also been convicted in two separate corruption cases in 2002 and 2009 but remained out of jail. Minutes after he was taken in custody on court`s order last Saturday, the veteran politician from Himachal Pradesh was attacked by a Sikh youth outside the courtroom. The court had sentenced Sukh Ram to five year in jail and ordered his arrest, dismissing his plea for leniency on the ground of his age old.

“The octogenarian convict has already reaped the dividend of a long-drawn process of law and as despite having been convicted in two other corruption cases, he is enjoying freedom, which is passing a wrong message to the public at large and strengthen the popular belief that one can earn money by corrupt means and enjoy its fruits by spending some portion of it,” the court had said.