The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of senior advocate RK Anand for contempt of court but spared him the jail.
Anand was found guilty of influencing a witness in the 1999 hit-and-run case involving Sanjeev Nanda, grandson of former Navy chief Admiral SM Nanda.
A three-judge bench headed by justice GS Singhvi accepted Anand’s unconditional apology and his offer to work free of cost for the poor for a year. “No purpose will be served by sending him to jail,” the court said.
As per the direction, Anand would also donate Rs. 21 lakh for improving the legal education infrastructure.
The apex court’s order came on Anand’s appeal challenging the Delhi High Court order convicting him of committing contempt of court. Anand was caught in a sting operation conducted by a television news channel.
Anand’s unconditional apology along with the undertaking came pursuant to the Supreme Court giving him the option to work with the legal services authority free of cost and also donate to a law college for setting up a library or a computer centre in case he did not wish the court to deliver a verdict on a plea challenging his imprisonment in contempt case.
The high court in August 2008 had convicted Anand for contempt and barred him from practicing before it and the subordinate courts for four months.
It had even stripped him of his senior advocate designation, holding he had attempted to influence the course of justice as a defence counsel in the hit-and-run case.
A fine of Rs. 2,000 was imposed on the lawyer.
Subsequently, the high court’s full court had divested Anand of his senior lawyer’s designation. On July 31, 2009, the SC bench headed by Justice B N Agarwal (since retired) had upheld the HC judgment.
It had also issued him a notice on the enhancement of the sentence.