Now A Granddad In Indian Jails
Thanks to Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement the Indian investigative agencies and the judiciary had been showing no mercy for political criminals in particular. A zero tolerance for the corrupt seems to be the norm now. And so, you should not look concerned if a granddad lands up in jail!
Sukh Ram, 86 year-old and former telecom minister of India, was convicted on November 18, 2011 for accepting a bribe of over 300,000 rupees in awarding a 300 million rupees contract to a firm in his home state Haryana in 1996. He was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment.
Such Ram had two other graft cases of causing loss to the government in awarding a contract to another firm and disproportionate property with millions of rupees recovered from his residence. In 2002 he was sentenced to three years in jail for the first case and in 2009 the same punishment was given for the second case. But he never went to jail though he resigned in 1996. Now in the changed and charged scenario the granddad had no escape route.
On November 19 the grand old man appealed for leniency in view of his age and many age related problems. But the trial court rejected his appeal and ordered him to be lodged in Tihar Jail, New Delhi. If fact, just after the order he was attacked outside the court by an young man who said he was inspired by Anna Hazare and that he considered the punishment too little for a chronic offender. There was a general concept that the old man already reaped the dividends of his corrupt deals.
Now, the granddad joined the august company of another ex-telecom minister and his aides, political leaders, sports administrators, top bureaucrats and top executives in the famed confines of Tihar Jail. But in view of his age jail-to-hospital attempts may orchestrate very soon.
Hopefully the movement against corruption will ultimately lead to creation of many more jails in India!
1996 is turning out to be a benchmark year for India getting into action mode 15 years down the timeline. While Sukh Ram finally landed up in jail Vinod Kambli cried out ‘fixed’ tears of a lost World Cup Cricket Semifinal match.