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RK Anand avoids jail, accepts Supreme Court offer to work for free & BCI donation

RK Anand swears penance (picture by IBN)
RK Anand swears penance (picture by IBN)
Exclusive: Former senior advocate RK Anand, whom the Supreme Court had found guilty of contempt of court for influencing a key witness in the BMW-hit-and-run case, filed an affidavit in the court undertaking to donate Rs 21 lakh to the Bar Council of India (BCI), and take on only pro bono legal work and free legal aid for one year.

He also tendered an unconditional apology to the court and prayed to be discharged under the Contempt of Courts Act 1971.

Anand, formerly a renowned criminal lawyer, was convicted for attempting to influence witness Sunil Kulkarni in the 1999 high profile hit-and-run case, and was stripped of his senior designation.

Last week he sought permission from the Supreme Court to get back to practice, pleading that he had already tendered an unqualified apology and was only giving free legal aid ever since the conviction.

The bench of justices GS Singhvi, Aftab Alam and CK Prasad directed him to choose between the prescribed six months of imprisonment for his offence under the Act, or to donate Rs 20 lakh to the BCI for developing the library or computer centre of a law college and undertake to provide free legal services for one year.

They asked Anand to inform his choice to the court within a week.

Stating that since the matter “has been pending for quite some time”, and this has given him the opportunity to “introspect”, Anand filed the affidavit in addition to the apologies from January 2010 and May 2011 which he had already submitted to the court.

In the affidavit, dated 20 September, Anand undertook to send the Rs 21 lakh cheque to the BCI “immediately on passing of final order” by the Supreme Court in his case.

He also promised to “not make any earning out of the legal profession by way of practice /conference/consultation/legal opinion/arbitration etc. in any form whatsoever for a period of 1 year from the date of order on which the apology is accepted by this Hon’ble Court”.

He further stated that during that one year his free legal aid services “can be utilized by the Delhi Legal Services Authority, Patiala House Courts, Delhi High Court Legal Services Authority, High Court of Delhi, New Delhi/Supreme Court Legal Services Authority, Supreme Court, New Delhi”.

He prayed to be discharged of the contempt charges and for remittance of punishment under the proviso to Section 12 of the Act.

Anand was represented by advocate Dharmendra Kumar Sinha.

Luthra & Luthra partner Vijay Sondhi and senior counsel Harish Salve represented NDTV, which had been directed to assist the court in the contempt proceedings.

Click here to download the affidavit

Photo by IBN Live

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