Prominent lawyers Anand, Khan debarred for bribing BMW case witness (Lead)

August 21st, 2008 - 2:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday debarred senior advocates R.K. Anand and I.U. Khan, who were the lawyers in the high-profile 1999 BMW hit and run case, from practising for four months after finding them guilty of trying to bribe the key witness Sunil Kulkarni. The division bench of Justices Manmohan Sarin and Madan B. Lokur debarred Anand, the defence lawyer, and Khan, the special public prosecutor, and slapped them with a fine of Rs.2,000 each after the authenticity of a sting operation conducted by private news channel NDTV was established.

“They are senior advocates and did not tender either conditional or unconditional apology for their conduct in the case,” the bench said in its 112-page verdict.

Criticising Anand and Khan for their “irresponsible” behaviour, the bench said: “We are not dealing with young lawyers. Both are seasoned lawyers and such conduct was not expected of them.”

Recommending that Anand and Khan be stripped of the designation of senior advocate, Justices Sarin and Lokur referred the matter to a special bench. Arvind Nigam, who was appointed amicus curaie in the case, has been recommended for the post of senior advocate.

The sting operation, which was conducted last year, showed the advocates asking Kulkarni to change his testimony in exchange for a large sum to favour Sanjeev Nanda, accused of mowing down six people on Lodhi Road in central Delhi in the early hours of Jan 10, 1999.

The expose, according to NDTV, was done by Kulkarni himself, using a hidden camera. Though he later baulked at the tapes being aired, the channel went ahead with the telecast in ‚Äúpublic interest”.

Sanjeev Nanda, the grandson of Admiral (retired) S.M. Nanda and son of arms dealer Suresh Nanada, reportedly fled the scene of the accident though the police later found bloodstains on the car. He got bail after nine months in jail when the only survivor changed his story and said a truck and not a BMW caused the accident.

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