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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 31, 2007
Delhi HC takes suo moto notice of TV expose on BMW case
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Delhi HC takes suo moto notice of TV expose on BMW case

The Delhi High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of a television channels expose in the BMW case, which revealed the likely collusion between the defence, the prosecution and a key witness.

New Delhi, May 31 : The Delhi High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of a television channel's expose in the BMW case, which revealed the likely collusion between the defence, the prosecution and a key witness.

In 1999, six people were run over allegedly by a BMW driven by Sanjeev Nanda a young and rich industrialist. But, six years later all witnesses except one, have turned hostile.

Reacting to the expose, the Delhi High Court said, ''The NDTV expose shows a danergous trend. What is caught (on camera) is very bad for the criminal justice system in the country.''

The High Court has fixed June 11 as the next date of hearing of the case, and asked for all records and unedited footage for its review.

Even the trial court has ordered an investigation into the report and has told Poonam Agarwal, the reporter who broke the story, to appear before it. A senior police offcer has also been summoned.

The television channel NDTV has clarified that no money was paid to the key witness Sunil Kulkarni, and added that the expose was scripted, edited and vetted by the channel's editorial and legal team.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police dropped Special Public Prosecutor I U Khan and replaced him with senior lawyer Rajeev Mohan.

Khan, however, told reporters outside the court that he had done ''no wrong'' and his name was not taken in connection with ''any talks'' of money being exchanged.

Khan, however, said that his statements have been interpreted incorrectly.

He also said that Sunil Kulkarni was dropped as a prosecution witness as he threatened the police and made false allegations about being coerced to change his testimony.

On his part, defence lawyer R K Anand called the allegations on tape ''fabricated'' and said Kulkarni had in fact approached him and not the other way round.

But in an earlier interview to NDTV, Anand denied meeting Kulkarni more than once, even though the tape revealed two separate meetings.

There is outrage after the expose on how the legal system may have been subverted in the high profile case.

Left leader Brinda Karat has said an enquiry should be conducted into the lawyers involved.

''The Law and Justice Ministry that appoints Public Prosecutors should look into the matter. Even Bar Council should take action and look into the registration aspect in view of senior lawyers being involved in such corrupt activities,'' she said.

The Delhi Bar Council Chairman K K Manan said lawyers opinion on the report was divided. But he promised, ''I will not allow anything to falter with the investigation.''

Congress Spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan reacted cautiously by saying the tapes need to be verified.

The expose is a huge embarrassment for the police who say they will examine all aspects related to investigation and trial to ensure that no damage has been done to the case. The role of three key police officers associated with the case will also be looked into.

The officers are Bimlesh Yadav, former Station House Officer of the Lodhi Colony police station, Mahadev Mehta, former Assistant Commissioner of Police of Defence Colony and Ullas Giri, former sub inspector of the Lodhi Colony police station.

The BMW case involved two of the country's most high profile lawyers - R K Anand and I U Khan.

Two months ago, Kulkarni approached NDTV after watching an expose on the BMW case.

He claimed that 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.

On a hidden camera, NDTV captured Anand discussing the case and money transactions with Kulkarni. While on his part, Khan asked Kulkarni if he had met bade sahib (referrring to Anand). (ANI with NDTV inputs)

ANI

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