The Supreme Court Bar Association has revoked the suspension of senior advocates R K Anand and I U Khan, who were shown by a TV news channel allegedly influencing a key witness in the sensational BMW hit-and-run case.
SCBA President P H Parekh said a three-member committee set up to inquire into the allegations decided by majority that the suspension of the two lawyers should be revoked. The decision was taken after the NDTV refused to part with the unedited footage of the sting operation on the ground that the issue was pending before the Delhi High Court, he added.
Parekh, who was on the committee along with senior advocate V Shekhar and advocate Vikrant Yadav, however, said he himself was not in favour of revocation of Anand's suspension because prima facie there was enough material against him. About Khan, he said the committee was of the view there was no material to clearly indicate misconduct on his part.
The committee's views were placed before the SCBA executive committee, which approved of its recommendation by majority on Tuesday, he said, adding the SCBA inquiry would resume after the outcome of the proceedings before the High Court.
Reacting to the decision Khan said: "We are very happy that the order passed in haste and without considering our views has been revoked."
Khan questioned the credibility of prime witness Sunil Kulkarni saying he was involved in several cases, including one under the Official Secrets Act. He had said in 1999 that it was a truck and not a BMW car that was involved in the accident. Anand could not be reached for his reaction.
Within days of NDTV telecasting the story based on a sting operation allegedly showing them influencing main witness Sunil Kulkarni, the SCBA had temporarily suspended them pending an inquiry. It had also issued show cause notices asking the two advocates to explain why action should not be taken against them.
Anand, defence counsel of main accused Sanjeev Nanda and dropped Special Public Prosecutor I U Khan, were shown on the TV channel allegedly colluding and influencing Kulkarni. Sanjeev is grandson of former Navy Chief S M Nanda.
Bar Council of Delhi had also issued similar show cause notices to the two lawyers asking them to respond by July 20.