|Birth||19 November 1927, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh, India|
|Residence||Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh, India|
|Politics||Indian National Congress|
Pandit Sukh Ram is an Indian politician who served as the Minister of Communications and Information Technology from 1993 to 1996. He was a member of Lok Sabha from the Mandi constituency of Himachal Pradesh. He won the Vidhan Sabha elections five times and the Lok Sabha elections three times.
Sukh Ram was born on 27 July 1927 in a poor family of 10 children in Kotli, Himachal Pradesh.
He attended the Delhi Law School and practised as a lawyer at the Mandi District law courts in 1953. In 1962 he became a Member of the Territorial Council in Himachal Pradesh.
He represented the Mandi Assembly seat from 1963 to 1984. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984 and served as a junior minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government. He served as minister of state for defence production and supplies, planning and food and civil supplies. Sukh Ram was the Union minister of state (independent charge) holding the communications portfolio from 1993 to 1996.
While Sukh Ram represented the Mandi Lok Sabha constituency, his son contested and won the Assembly seat in 1993. Sukh Ram won the Mandi Lok Sabha seat in 1996, but the two were expelled from the Congress party after the telecom scam. They formed the Himachal Vikas Congress, entered into a post-poll alliance with the BJP and joined the government.
Sukh Ram contested the Assembly Elections in 1998 from Mandi Sadar and won by a huge margin of 22000+ votes; that was highest in the State. His son Anil Sharma was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998. In the 2003 Assembly poll, Sukh Ram retained the Mandi Assembly seat but joined the Congress in the run-up to the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. Anil Sharma won the Mandi Assembly seat in 2007 and 2012 as a Congress candidate. In 2017, prior to elections, Sukh Ram joined BJP along with his son Anil Sharma and Grandson Aashray Sharma. It is considered as impact of Sukh Ram that BJP won 9 out of 10 seats in DISTRICT Mandi and one seat i.e. Joginder Nagar was won by an independent candidate. His son Anil is now Power Minister in the state of Himachal Pradesh under BJP regime. The family has a significant influence among the Himachal's Brahmins, who comprise nearly 20 per cent, or a fifth, of the state's electorate (the second-highest for any state in India, next to Uttarakhand). His another grandson is married to Salman Khan's sister.
Sukhram crossed over to Bharatiya Janata Party in 2017 before reverting to the Congress in 2019.
Sukh Ram was Telecom Minister in P. V. Narasimha Rao's cabinet. In 1996, the Central Bureau of Investigation seized from his official residence Rs. 3.6 crores in cash concealed in bags and suitcases, which he was alleged to have collected in connection with irregularities in awarding a telecom contract. He was sentenced to three years’ rigorous imprisonment by a Delhi court in 2002. He was convicted again on 18 November 2011 on the charges of following fraudulent procedures in the purchase of polythene-insulated jelly-filled cables for the Department of Telecommunication during his tenure as the minister of that department. He had previously been sentenced for amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Although convicted and sentenced by different courts in three different but related cases, Ram has said he will fight his case in higher courts. In March 2018, the Supreme Court consented to hear his appeal in May of that year.