• November 28th, 2011
  • Dafiq Hussein

10 days ago, Sukh Ram, the former Telecoms Minister for India, was convicted of accepting a bribe to award a telecoms deal to a private firm in 1996. However, according to the BBC website, the Delhi High Court have now suspended his 5 year jail sentence and granted Ram bail.

The allegations accuse Sukh Ram of accepting a bribe of £37,190, 15 years ago, and abusing his senior position as Telecoms Minister, allowing a private firm to affectively buy their contract from the India government.

However, although the 86 year old has been convicted, the High Court of India has suspended the sentence on the grounds that the case has not yet been decided, as Sukh Ram’s lawyers have filled for an immediate appeal against the verdict that would see the former minister spend 5 years in prison.

The High Court also took into account the former ministers age and physical condition when granting bail, but if the appeal fails, Sukh Ram will still face up to 5 years in jail.

This case comes at the same time as many other political figures and company executives in India are facing imprisonment on the grounds of corruption in the telecoms industry. India MP, Kanimozhi, and 5 others, have also been accused of miss-selling mobile phone frequency licences and costing the country an estimated £24.5billion.

India has the second largest number of mobile phones in the world with over 865 million and the competition from companies to provide mobile phones, call cards and cheap calls abroad is huge, making the government contracts highly lucrative.

However, the scandal surrounding the former Telecoms Minister, MPs and Company Executives has been one of the largest in the country’s history and may see the industry marred over the coming years.