A day after he became the first MP to lose his seat following conviction in a criminal case,Congress leader Rasheed Masood filed an appeal before the Delhi High Court Tuesday seeking suspension of his sentence and jail term on medical ground. The court of Justice Hima Kohli admitted the appeal and issued a notice to the CBI to reply within three weeks. It,however,refused to expedite hearing,denying a request to hear the matter next week.
Masood,68,claimed before the court that he suffers from uncontrolled diabetes and needs 15-18 tablets a day for ailments such as high blood pressure and breathlessness. His counsel H R Khan Suhail argued Masood was facing trial for the past 17 years and was on bail throughout. He has never disobeyed bail conditions, he said.
A special CBI court had held the Rajya Sabha member guilty in a case of corruption and other offences in September. Masood,who was minister for health in the V P Singh government between 1990 and 1991,was convicted of fraudulently nominating undeserving candidates to MBBS seats allotted to Tripura in colleges across the country from the central pool under Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy),420 (cheating) and 468 (forgery) and sentenced to four years.
It was the first conviction of a parliamentarian after the Supreme Court struck down on July 10 sub-section 4 of Section 8 of Representation of the People Act preventing disqualification of convicted MPs,MLAs and MLCs pending appeals in higher courts.