The Delhi High Court on Thursday convicted two senior lawyers R.K. Anand and I.U. Khan of criminal contempt for trying to “persuade” key witness Sunil Kulkarni in the BMW hit-and-run case to turn hostile.
The court held the two guilty of “… obstructing the administration of justice”.
The court has debarred the duo from appearing in high court and lower courts for four months. It has recommended that they be stripped of their designation of senior advocate. [Source Hindustan Times]
This is as much a matter of national shame as well as a personal shame for me.
I was awarded my Labour Law Diploma Certificate at the Indian Institute of Law by this man. Mr. RK Anand has been long associated with the esteemed body which imparts legal education. As students when we got our certificates from his hands we felt so proud. While some of us saw a role model in him others wanted to start their career as his junior.
Once in a while, when I had seen him in the the High Court Lawyers canteen sitting with senior lawyers sipping coffee or simply walking by I had felt so proud of my profession, of my self.
But today when I hear High Court held him guilty of Contempt of Court by ‘obstructing process of justice’ I wonder was it knowledge and motivation that he handed over to the students or or was it bribery, corruption, disregard for judicial system, disregard for human life and a complete lack of integrity.
I am sure there are many a young lawyers, law students who must have been similarly inspired by Mr. IU Khan too and all those heads must be looking down in shame today. What do two of our senior Advocates stand for today?
Popular understanding goes that the job of lawyers is to make truth appear false and false appear true. That is wrong. The duty of a lawyer is to help the court render justice. That is the only duty. True a defence lawyer would do all that is possible to save the accused he is representing but that is only so long as he remains within the parameters of law.
Giving false witness while under the oath in a Court of law is a crime. Anybody encouraging or forcing a person to turn hostile or give false witness then is an encouragement to commit a crime. When such encouragement comes from none other than the very respectable officers of the Court whose duty is to see that justice is done, what can we expect from this judiciary?
While giving the verdict the Court said,
“We are not dealing with a young lawyer who, driven by ambition and desire to make his career and in his over-zealousness, transgresses the limits by crossing the Lakshman Rekha. We are dealing with senior advocates who are expected to become role models for younger members of Bar.”
The question that we now need to ask is what about the rest of our role models our leaders our inspirations are they all wearing a mask?