Ailing and old , Sukh Ram sent to jail

New Delhi : Ailing former telecom minister Sukh Ram Saturday surrendered in a Delhi court in a graft case and was sent to jail. The 84-year-old appeared in the court premises in an ambulance.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Sanjeev Jain came out of the court room to the ambulance to meet Sukh Ram, who is accused of showing undue favour to a cable supply company and accepting Rs.3 lakh as bribe when he was a minister.

In 2002, he was awarded a three-year jail term under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Earlier Saturday, Special Judge Jain directed Sukh Ram to surrender as soon as possible. “He can’t go beyond (Delhi) high court’s order as the court had asked him to surrender before the trial court,” Jain said.

He asked Sukh Ram’s counsel to “send him as soon as possible”. Sukh Ram has been undergoing treatment at a hospital in Delhi.

Sukh Ram’s counsel, citing medical problem of his client, told the court that he will appear in the court Saturday by ambulance. “He is in a state of drowsiness as has undergone medical treatment,” his counsel said.

Sukh Ram was to surrender in the court Friday, but his counsel told the court that the former minister had slipped into coma.

“Sukh Ram is in coma after undergoing angiography, so he cannot move from the hospital,” Sukh Ram’s counsel D.S. Patiyl had said.

The 1993 telecom scam for which Sukh Ram has been convicted involves award of a contract to a Hyderabad firm for supplying telecom equipment to the government at exorbitant rates.

In another case, he was held guilty of possessing disproportionate assets worth Rs.4.25 crore in 2009.

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