5-year jail term for Sukhram
NEW DELHI, Nov 19 – Former Telecom Minister Sukhram was today awarded five years imprisonment by a Delhi Court after being convicted of taking Rs three lakhs as bribe to give a lucrative contract to a private firm in 1996, reports PTI.
Special CBI Judge R P Pandey also imposed a fine of Rs four lakh on 86-year-old Sukhram, who held the Telecom portfolio in P V Narasimha Rao’s Cabinet.
The CBI prosecutor said Sukhram will be taken into custody and sent to jail to serve the punishment as the sentence exceeded a three-year jail term and convicts in these cases are not granted statutory bail.
Sukhram was held guilty yesterday under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code(IPC). Various offences under which he has been convicted entail a maximum sentence of 7 years jail term.
Sukhram was held guilty for misusing his official position during his tenure as Telecom Minister in award of contract worth Rs 30 crore to private firm Haryana Telecom Limited (HTL) to supply 3.5 Lakh Conductor Kilometers (LCKM) of Polythene Insulated Jelly Filled (PIJF) cables to the telecom department.
Arguing on the quantum of sentence, Sukhram’s counsel pleaded that his client is an 86-year-old person and attending the trial for the past 12 to 13 years.
The defence lawyer has sought leniency for his client saying Sukhram is suffering from age-related ailments and has also lost his wife.
The prosecutor, however, termed Sukhram as a “habitual offender” saying he has been sentenced in two other cases also and thus deserved no leniency.
Source: Assam Tribune