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Delhi High Court a single-judge bench referred a corruption case against former telecom minister Sukhram to a larger bench, citing several legal issues.

Justice S. Murlidhar remarked. “There are certain legal issues which I have framed in this case and it should be decided by a division bench,”

“When can a decision be taken whether a minister or an executive member has misused his position? And what is criminal misconduct with respect to minister?”

The court was hearing the appeal filed by Sukhram and two others who have been accused of involvement in the telecom scam. Sukhram moved the high court against the lower court order sentencing him to three years’ rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs.100,000.

Sukhram was convicted and sentenced for irregualrities causing a loss of Rs.1.68 crore to the public exchequer when the late P.V. Narasimha Rao was the prime minister.

He was convicted in July 2002 together with Runu Ghosh, former Department of Telecom (DoT) deputy director general, and P. Ramarao, managing director of the private firm Advanced Radio Ltd.

Sukhram was convicted under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act for defrauding the exchequer by awarding the contract to the Bangalore-based firm which had supplied inferior equipment at a higher rate.

The trial court, held that sentences would run concurrently, had granted bail to Sukhram, who had challenged the judgement in the high court.

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