New Delhi: Delhi High Court suspended the five year sentence awarded to former telecom minister Sukh Ram and granted him bail.
Sukhram is presently lodged in Tihar jail for taking Rs 3 lakh as bribe to award a lucrative contract to a private firm in 1996.
The court released him on bail considering that he is an 86-year-old heart patient and keeping in view the medical report submitted by the Tihar Jail authorities, which said he suffered from heart diseases and cervical spondylitis.
The court, while granting bail to Sukhram on medical grounds, directed him to furnish a surety of Rs ten lakhs each prior to his release and asked him not to leave the country without the prior permission of the court.
The CBI had opposed his bail, saying he has been convicted twice earlier and is a habitual offender.
Sukhram had applied for bail on November 23 and challenged his conviction and five-year jail term.
A trial court had earlier convicted 84-year-old Sukhram for misusing his official position when he was in the PV Narasimha Rao cabinet in 1996.
Sukhram was alleged to have been giving undue favour to a cable supply company in 1996.
The CBI, in its charge sheet filed in 1998, had accused Sukhram and another person of allegedly showing undue favour in supply of excess quantity of cable and acceptance of Rs 3 lakh.
In 2009, Sukhram was held guilty of possessing disproportionate assets worth Rs.4.25 crore.
In 2002, he was awarded a three-year jail term under the Prevention of Corruption Act in an equipment supply case for causing a loss of Rs.1.66 crore to the state exchequer. He had allegedly caused undue benefits to Rama Rao, managing director of Hyderabad-based Advance Radio Masts.