The Supreme Court has asked noted lawyer R K Anand,convicted on contempt of court charges for trying to influence a witness in the BMW hit-and-run case,to either provide free legal aid to poor litigants or face punishment,which can be up to six months of jail term.
A Bench of Justices G S Singhvi,Aftab Alam and C K Prasad granted time to Anand to think over it and inform the court within a week.
The apex court had upheld his conviction on July 29,2009 and had stripped him of the designation of senior advocate for committing contempt of court by attempting to influence the course of justice as a defence counsel in the hit-and-run case and had asked him as to why his quantum of punishment should not be enhanced.
The BMW hit-and-run case involved late Navy chief S M Nanda’s grand son Sanjeev Nanda,who had mowed down several persons under the wheels of his rashly-driven BMW on January 10,1999.
The Delhi High Court had held Anand,also a former Rajya Sabha member,guilty along with another senior advocate I U Khan for obstructing the course of administration of justice and,as a punishment,had debarred them from appearing in courts for four months.
The apex court,however,had set aside Khan’s conviction on the contempt of court charges.
On May 3 last year,the apex court had expressed dissatisfaction over Anand’s tone and tenor of his apology to the court.
Your affidavit does not say you accept what you did. For you,it is still an imputation, the apex court had said after going through Anand’s affidavit in which he had apologised for his conduct.