NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday granted interim bail to former Union Minister Sukh Ram and two of his aides who are being tried in the 1993 telecom scam case. In the process, the apex court also issued a notice to the CBI in this regard.
It may be recalled that Sukh Ram surrendered before a trial court on Saturday to serve his three-year sentence in the 1993 case.
Former bureaucrat Runu Ghosh and Hyderabad-based businessman P Rama Rao were also granted interim bail by a Bench comprising Justice P Sathasivam and Justice J Chalameswar till January 16.
The Bench said the trial court would impose the requisite conditions to its satisfaction for giving them the relief.
Senior counsel and former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for Sukh Ram said the former minister was 86 years old and that the court should take this fact into consideration while granting him bail. Senior counsel Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the remaining two, said they had been on bail for the past 20 years and there was no fear of them running away. It was on December 21 that the High Court had upheld Sukh Ram’s conviction. Initially, all three accused had been convicted by the trial court in 2002 on the charge of defrauding the state through a corrupt deed involving award of a contract envisaging the supply of telecom equipment to the Hyderabad-based Advanced Radio Masts, which had supplied inferior quality goods at a higher rate to the DoT.
Sukh Ram was the Telecom Minister for three years between January 18, 1993 and May 16, 1996 in the P V Narasimha Rao Government.