New Delhi: In a relief to former Union
Minister Sukh Ram, sentenced to three years in jail in a 1993
telecom scam, the Supreme Court on Monday extended his interim
bail till August 7.
A bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam also granted
relief to former bureaucrat Runu Ghosh and Hyderabad-based
businessman P Rama Rao, who are also convicted in the same
The bench listed the appeals filed by all there accused
challenging their conviction and sentence to August 7.
The apex court had earlier issued notice to CBI on
January 9 while granting interim bail to all three accused
which was expiring today.
CBI, however, has not filed its reply in the case and on
a query by the bench, Additional Solicitor General Vivek
Tankha said he was unaware whether the agency would file an
appeal in the case or not.
Tankha said he will take instructions from the agency.
86-year-old Sukh Ram was granted interim bail by the apex
court after he had surrendered before a trial court to serve
his three year sentence in the scam case.
Ghosh and Rao had also surrendered to serve their two and
three-year jail terms respectively.
Earlier on December 21 last year, the Delhi High Court
had upheld the lower court`s 2002 judgement holding Sukh Ram,
Ghosh and Rao guilty of being part of a criminal conspiracy to
defraud the state exchequer by awarding a telecom equipment
supply contract to Hyderabad`s Advanced Radio Masts which had
supplied inferior goods at a higher rate to the DoT.
Sukh Ram was telecom minister between January 18, 1993
and May 16, 1996, in the then Narasimha Rao government.
The CBI had filed the charge sheet in March 1997,
accusing Sukh Ram and Ghosh of entering into a criminal
conspiracy with Rao.
Subsequent to the registration of various cases, the CBI,
in 1996, had seized Rs 3.6 crore in cash which was concealed
in bags and suitcases from Sukh Ram`s residence.