Senior advocate RK Anand tendered an unconditional apology before the Supreme Court on Tuesday for trying to influence a key witness in the hit-and-run case involving his client Sanjeev Nanda.
Invoking the Gita, Anand’s counsel, senior advocate MR Culla, said: “Even Lord Krishna forgave Shishupal 99 times. He was punished only when he repeated his mistake the 100th time.” He added that Anand should be forgiven as he had suffered a lot. “His career and social prestige have taken a beating,” he told the court.
Appearing before a bench headed by Justice B Sudershan Reddy, Culla said Anand had stood up to rescue the image of judiciary at a time when the media was trying to degrade it through a survey that rated judges on the basis of their honesty.
“The infamy brought upon a man enjoying popular esteem is worse than death,” read Anand’s affidavit.
The bench told Culla that it would consider Anand’s apology and fixed the case for further hearing after six weeks.
Anand’s apology is in response to an SC notice, asking the former Rajya Sabha MP on why he should not be punished and sent to jail for committing contempt of court. He has requested the court not to enhance his punishment under section 12 of the Contempt of Court Act that warrants imprisonment.
The Delhi High Court had in August 2008 convicted Anand for contempt and barred him from practicing before it and the subordinate courts for four months.
A fine of R2,000 was imposed on him. Subsequently, high court’s full court had divested Anand of his senior lawyer’s designation. On July 31, 2009, SC bench headed by Justice BN Agarwal (since retired) had upheld the HC judgment. Besides, it had also issued him a notice on the enhancement of sentence.
Praying for mercy, Anand has said he has not appeared before the high court for more than a year and needs to attend to his wife who is on wheelchair for over 20 years due to multiple sclerosis.