The hit-and-run case involving Sanjeev Nanda saw high drama right from the start. It continued during the years of the trial till the pronouncement of the judgement — all largely perceived as leaving no stone unturned to save the rich and high-profile accused.
This was a case that saw the conviction of a defence lawyer and the public prosecutor even before the accused was found guilty. The trial court sentenced Nanda, the main accused in the case, to five years in jail on September 5, 2008.
But RK Anand, a senior lawyer defending Nanda, and public prosecutor IU Khan were convicted of contempt of court in the same case earlier in August 21, 2008.
They were caught on camera allegedly trying to convince key witness Sunil Kulkarni to turn hostile and save Nanda.
Initially, witness after witness — including one of the injured Manoj Malik — were declared “hostile” when they said the offending vehicle was a truck and not a BMW car. Malik disappeared after that.
Another witness Sunil Kulkarni, whom the defence tried to discredit as one “put up” by the police, also made U-turns. He was recalled to depose after being controversially dropped seven years ago.
The trial court had called Kulkarni a “character direct from the novels of Charles Dickens” for his “peculiar personality”.
Within months of the accident, the court found the witnesses unreliable and the defence argued that it was a truck and not a BMW that caused the deaths. All the accused were released on bail, resulting in public confidence dropping sharply in the legal system.
Sanjeev Nanda was released on a bail of Rs 15 crore.