Apex court upholds Anand's conviction in BMW case

I U Khan, who appeared for Delhi police, was let off

Apex court upholds Anand's conviction in BMW case

 
A three-judge bench of Justices B N Agrawal, G  S Singhvi and Aftab Alam said: “The appeal of R K Anand is dismissed subject to the notice of enhancement of punishment issued to him. He is allowed eight weeks time from the date of service of notice for filing his show-cause.’’

However, the bench acquitted Lawyer I U Khan, who appeared for the prosecution (Delhi police) in the same case, due to lack of evidence, who  was also suspended along with Anand from practising in the Delhi High Court and district courts for four months and directed to pay a fine of Rs 2,000.

The apex court had arrived at a decision after hearing the arguments from the defendants and the Solicitor General apart from Senior Advocate Harish Salve, who appeared for NDTV that carried a sting operation to expose the nexus.

Tapes viewed

The bench also saw the unedited tapes of the sting operation that swung the decision against Anand, who was also a Rajya Sabha member from Jharkhand representing the JMM and also had tried his luck as a Congress candidate from South Delhi in the 2004 Lok Sabha election.

With clear-cut directions to the High Court, the bench said: “In order to avoid any such controversies in future, all the high courts that have so far not framed rules under Section 34 of the Advocates Act (power of the HC to make rule for punishment of advocates for misconduct) are directed to frame the rules without any further delay.
“It is earnestly hoped that all the high courts shall frame the rules within four months from today.’’

Anand has been directed by the apex court to file his reply to the show-cause notice that sought his reply on the question of enhancing the punishment awarded to him by the High Court.

Expressing its anguish, the bench said suborning a witness in a criminal trial is an act striking at the root of the judicial proceeding and it surely deserves the treatment meted out to the appellant.

 The trial would fail because it was not protected from external interferences. Every trial that fails due to external interference is a tragedy for the victim(s) of the crime. More importantly, every frustrated trial defies and mocks  society based on the rule of law.
The apex court held that the sting programme telecast by NDTV served an important public cause.

Even if the programme marginally tended to influence the proceedings in the BMW trial,  it served larger public interest. Both Anand and Khan were purportedly shown as colluding to influence Kulkarni in the BMW hit-and-run case in the sting operation on May 30, 2007, by offering him money.

The High Court had taken suo motu cognisance of it and started proceedings against the two lawyers.

DH News Service 

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