The Delhi High Court on Thursday convicted senior advocates R K Anand and I U Khan in the BMW expose case for obstructing administration of justice.
"They are senior advocates and they did not tender either conditional or unconditional apology for their conduct in the BMW case," a division bench of Justices Manmohan Sarin and Madan B Lokur said, in their 112-page verdict in the contempt case relating to the expose.
Recommending that they be stripped of their designation of senior advocate, the court asked them not to appear in the Delhi High Court and its subordinate courts for the next four months as punishment.
The bench also imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 on each of them and rapped them for their 'irresponsible' behaviour, saying 'we are not dealing with young lawyers. Both are seasoned lawyers and such conduct was not expected of them'.
The court, however, acquitted advocate Bhagwan Saini, associated with the BMW trial, of the contempt charges but cautioned him against indulging in unfair practices.
The two convicted senior advocates were, however, allowed by the bench to undertake other professional activities such as counselling and drafting during the four-month period banning them from appearing in courts.
Meanwhile, the court recommended that amicus curiae Arvind Nigam, who assisted the court in the over year-long trial, be designated as a senior advocate.
During the proceedings, Anand was conspicuous by his absence while Khan was present in the court.
Both Anand and Khan were accused of obstructing the administration of justice by allegedly influencing a witness Sunil Kulkarni in the sensational nine-year-old BMW hit-and-run case.
Anand, the defence counsel and Khan, the prosecutor, were shown as colluding with the witness in an NDTV sting operation last year.
The court on May 31 last year had taken suo motu cognisance of the sting operation showing Anand, in collusion with Khan, allegedly offering money to Kulkarni to depose in favour of Sanjeev Nanda, the prime accused in the hit-and-run case.
Nanda, the grandson of retired Naval chief S M Nanda, is accused of mowing down six persons, including three policemen, with his BMW car on January 10, 1999.