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BMW case not first time public prosecutors erred

Aug 21, 2008 01:53 PM IST India India
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New Delhi: The conversation between the main witness in the BMW case, Sunil Kulkarni and theh defense lawyer R K Anand has once again brought into focus the alleged nexus between the defense and the prosecution.

An excerpt from the conversation, caught on hidden camera by a private news channel went like this:

Sunil Kulkarni to R K Anand: "Khan sahab asked me to come and meet you. The the two of you will decide what I say in court."

What was feared for so long now seems to be out in the open - that money plays a more important role than law itself in deciding the fate of criminal cases.

The latest revelation in the BMW case has stunned lawyers across the country

Special public prosecutor in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, Ujwal Nikam, says, "This is morally unethical. Strong action needs to be taken against these people."

The entire criminal justice system relies in large part on the integrity of the public prosecutor. It is the public prosecutor who conducts the trial on behalf of the state and the victim.

But this is not the first time prosecutors have failed in their duty and this is not the first time that the prosection is under attack.

The Delhi High Court ruled in the Jessica Lall murder case that the role of the public prosecutor was definitely under the scannner. The High Court pointed out how the prosecutor failed to use socialite Bina Ramani's testimony as clinching evidence, even though she was an eye witness who saw Manu Sharma shoot Jessica.

In the Nitish Katara case too, prosecution left much to be desired. In fact, the public prosecutor went to the extent of dropping the main witness, Bharti Yadav - a mistake which was corrected after a long struggle.

Nitish Katara's mother, Neelam Katara says, "We have had three public prosecutors on the case so far. Thankfully, the third one is doing his job."

The High Court has finally taken cognizance of the BMW case and has said that there should be no interference in the criminal justice procedure.