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Citing illness, Sukh Ram avoids surrender
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 5
The Supreme Court today directed former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram to immediately surrender in the trial court before seeking bail, but he failed to comply with the order citing hospitalisation for treatment of a heart ailment. Sukh Ram has been sentenced to three-year imprisonment in a corruption case.

Upholding his conviction and sentence on December 21, 2011, the Delhi High Court had asked the 86-year-old politician from Himachal Pradesh to surrender in the trial court today for serving his jail term.

But Sukh Ram challenged the HC verdict in the SC and sought bail, pending disposal of the appeal. A Bench comprising Justices P Sathasivam and J Chelameswar, however, refused to consider his plea unless he surrendered in the trial court as directed by the HC.

Shortly after the SC ruling, Sukh Ramís counsel Anil Nag moved an application in the trial court stating that his client was medically not in a position to surrender as he had undergone angiography in a private hospital in Lajpat Nagar here. Sukh Ram was prepared to be arrested in the hospital itself, the counsel said. The plea would be considered by the court tomorrow.

Meanwhile, former bureaucrat Runu Ghosh and Hyderabad-based businessman Rama Rao (both co-accused in the case against Sukh Ram) surrendered in the trial court as directed by the HC and the SC. Ghosh was sentenced to two-year jail by the trial court, while Rao would have to be in the jail for three years.

Sukh Ram was sentenced for corruption in the purchase of about 2,500 multi-access rural radio (MARR) systems in 1993-94 for providing telephone connection to every panchayat in the country.

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