Sukh Ram surrenders, sent to Tihar Jail



Chandigarh: Faced with a situation when his own younger brother has quit the Congress and joined the Akali Dal after being denied the party ticket for the Jan 30 assembly poll in Punjab, state Congress chief Amarinder Singh Saturday tried to downplay the development saying that the rebellion by some party leaders was "only an initial reaction".

Refusing to agree that there was large scale rebellion among Congress leaders who did not get the party nomination, Amarinder said: "Yes, there are some initial reactions which will calm down with due course of time."

In 2002, he was awarded a three-year jail term under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Special Judge Sanjeev Jain said that Sukh Ram would be taken to jail in the same ambulance. "As requested by the counsel for the convict (Sukh Ram), jail authorities are directed to provide necessary medical aid to him in accordance with the norms," the judge said.

However, the doctor accompanying Sukh Ram said that the patient was still unconscious, after which the judge allowed him to go with Sukh Ram till the jail.

Earlier Saturday, the court 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," the judge said. Sukh Ram has been undergoing treatment at a hospital in Delhi.

The former minister's counsel, citing medical problems of his client, told the court that he will appear in the court in an ambulance. "He is in a state of drowsiness as he has undergone medical treatment," his counsel Anil Nag said.

The court had warned defence counsel that if Sukh Ram failed to surrender, it may issue a non-bailable warrant against him.

Nag said that issuance of the non-bailable warrant would adversely affect their case pending in the Supreme Court. He also apologised for Friday's statement by another counsel, who said the former minister had slipped into coma. Sukh Ram was to surrender Friday.

"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.

IANS