BMW Story Revealed
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Home / India News / 2007 / May / May 31, 2007
BMW Story Revealed- An NDTV Exclusive

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BMW Story Revealed- An NDTV Exclusive

New Delhi, Delhi, India

An NDTV investigation has revealed how the legal system may have been subverted in the high profile BMW case.

In 1999 six people were run over, allegedly by a BMW driven by Sanjeev Nanda, a young, rich industrialist. But eight years later every witness, expect one, turned hostile.

NDTV investigates how the prosecution, the defence, and the only witness, who has not turned hostile, Sunil Kulkarni collude.

The story is not only a comment on an isolated, single case but a larger statement on the state of India's legal system
Two months ago, Kulkarni approached NDTV after watching the channel's expose on the BMW case.

Kulkarni claimed he was under great pressure from both sides- the Defence and the Prosecution, to change his original statement. He offered to prove this on hidden camera. But just before his testimony began, he withdrew his initial consent.

After consulting legal opinion, NDTV broadcast the story in public interest.

There are four main players in the BMW case:

-- Sanjeev Nanda, son of a rich arms dealer, accused of running over and killing six people in his BMW. The car was later filmed by the police with blood on its wheels. Nanda got bail after 9 months in jail when the only survivor changed his story and said a truck and not a BMW caused the accident.

-- Sunil Kulkarni, a passerby who allegedly saw the accident and the only witness who has refused to turn hostile but was inexplicably dropped as a witness by the prosecution on grounds that he had been bought by the Nandas. This despite the fact that he is the only witness who still says the accident was caused by a black car with two men in it, one of them called Sanjeev.

-- R K Anand, the Defence lawyer for Sanjeev Nanda, one of the senior most lawyers in India and a former Rajya Sabha MP.

-- Public Prosecutor I U Khan who is meant to prove the killing.

But over-ruling the prosecution, which had refused to let Kulkarni testify in March this year, the court hearing the case summoned Kulkarni as a witness.

This is when he approached NDTV to catch on hidden camera the pressure he claims he's under to change his testimony.

His first meeting was with the prosecutor on April 28

Kulkarni: Why have I been summoned now?

Khan: We dropped you. The court has called you.

Kulkarni: I think the state asked you to drop me, right?

Khan: These are the instructions I received from the HQ. And that's why I got the SHO statement recorded that ''on the instructions of the SHO and the ACP, such-and-such witness has been dropped''. How can I make a statement? My clients are Delhi Police. Whatever instructions they give, I will act upon it.

Kulkarni: So this headache?

Khan: You won't have it. They've petitioned the High Court that Kulkarni's statement should not be recorded.

Kulkarni: So it won't be recorded, right?

Khan: No. Relax. Who is the court to say you should be examined?

The public prosecutor then asked if the witness has met bade sahib. Kulkarni claims the bade sahib they are talking about is R K Anand, the lawyer representing Sanjeev Nanda.

Khan: You've met bade sahib?

Kulkarni: No

Khan: Really?

A few days later the witness meets R K Anand, Sanjeev Nanda's defence lawyer at the airport. Clearly, the public prosecutor has already spoken to him.

Kulkarni meets Defence Lawyer R K Anand on May 6

Kulkarni: Khan has told you that he met me.

Anand: Yes

Kulkarni: So what is our strategy now?

Anand: I'll be back in town tomorrow. Meet me at home.

Then comes the key moment where money is discussed. The defence lawyer and Kulkarni talk about how much money to ask for.

Kulkarni: Should I ask for Rs 2.5 crore?

Anand: Ask for Rs 5 crore and I will cross-examine you.

Kulkarni: So you will cross-examine me...

Anand laughs

Is this, as Kulkarni the witness says, Anand's way of guaranteeing that only he and no other lawyer will do the cross examination?

It doesn't end here. R K Anand has another meeting with Kulkarni in his own car. Here Anand negotiates on behalf of the Nandas.

Defence Lawyer meets Prosecution Witness on May 8

Kulkarni: What are we discussing?

Anand: Be reasonable.

Kulkarni: You decide.

Anand: No, you decide. Anyhow, what statement you are supposed to make, we will decide about it. First of all, meet the bugger and talk to him. And be reasonable. Don't be unreasonable like what you told me that day. Don't be silly.

Kulkarni: So how much?

Anand: Forget it. Life makes big demands of us.

Kulkarni: So Sanjeev must be saved.

Anand: Yes. Never harm anyone.

Kulkarni: But Khan and you tell me what has to be done. It was merely an accident. It was not murder.

Anand: And he remained in jail for 8-9 months.

A few hours later Kulkarni claims he is asked to meet Anand's assistant at a crowded market near Anand's office.

He introduces Kulkarni to a man sent to negotiate how much Kulkarni will be paid to change his testimony.

Kulkarni: Now what? And how? Anand and Kulkarni have to decide whether I testify on May 14.

Lovely: Ok

Kulkarni: The Nandas need me now, they're sending me messages but I won't meet them without Boss.

Lovely: Fine.

Kulkarni: So now?

Lovely: Tell me your demand. We have to settle the matter.

Kulkarni: That Boss has to decide.

Lovely: He wants you to decide. I'm the middleman. I'll handle it.

Kulkarni: So then you decide. I am testifying for the first time. I have no idea.

Lovely: The party is rich. Ask for Rs 60-70 lakh?

Kulkarni: That's nothing.

Lovely: Then you decide.

Kulkarni: And things like changing my testimony- that Khan and boss Mr Anand have to decide. And I will not meet Nanda alone. And no other lawyer should be involved. This is my condition.

Lovely: Should I say Rs one crore.

Kulkarni: Ask for Rs 2 crore.

Lovely: They won't agree.

Kulkarni: Then it's 10 years in jail.

Lovely If they don't agree, then how much?

Kulkarni: How can they disagree? Why approach me then? I have not volunteered.

Lovely: Fine, I'll say 2. But I think 1 is fine.

Kulkarni: Payment by tomorrow?

Lovely: Not so soon. It'll take a day to talk to the Nandas. I'll speak to Boss. He'll call the Nandas. Then I'll meet you.

Kulkarni: Tell boss, he and I will share this. Your cut?

About NDTV

NDTV Ltd, founded in 1988, is India's first and largest private producer of current affairs, sports and entertainment television. It is home to the country's best and brightest reporters, anchors and producers; 23 offices and studios across the country host India's most modern and sophisticated production, newsgathering and archiving facilities. NDTV has an unmatched track record of successfully launching three news channels: NDTV 24x7 is a clear leader in the English news segment, NDTV Profit, a 24-hour business plus channel, is India's number one business news channel, and NDTV India is amongst the country's leading Hindi news channels. As an organization, NDTV is committed to one cause: to use its extensive expertise, technology and reach to create unparalleled coverage of the latest in domestic and international news, sports and entertainment for viewers at home and around the world. For more information:

Source: NDTV (Business Wire India)

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