Kulkarni most dishonest witness: HC
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Last Updated: Monday, July 20, 2009, 20:42
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Moday came down heavily on Sunil Kulkarni, a Mumbai-based key witness in BMW hit-and-run case, by terming him as "the most dishonest, unreliable, untrustworthy and untruthful witness."

"His entry in the case is as dramatic as could happen only in our Bollywood movies," Justice Kailash Gambhir said.

The court ordered initiation of criminal proceedings for perjury against Kulkarni who was relied on heavily by the trial court to hold Sanjeev Nanda and three others guilty in the 10-year-old case.

"The deposition of court witness (Kulkarni) is thrown out lock, stock and barrel," the court said.

Initially, he had introduced himself as a witness without any extraneous reason. However, later after coming to know that rich and affluent persons were accused, he jumped into the fray of witnesses "may be to make a fortune", the court said dwelling upon Kulkarni's role in the case.

Trashing the findings of the trial court about Kulkarni, Justice Gambhir said "... but I feel otherwise. The more I read the statement of this court witness, the more dishonesty, falsehood and crookedness of this man flows out."

Kulkarni had not only resiled from his testimonies but also carried out a sting operation leading to conviction of two senior criminal lawyers of the country R K Anand and I U Khan for contempt of court.

Justice Gambhir said the lower court gave undue weightage to the testimony of Kulkarni by believing him as an eye-witness.

The high court put a question mark on the trial court's reliance on Kulkarni describing him as a "strange character directly taken from the novels of Charles Dickens".

"It is manifest that Kulkarni is a shady character who in order to hog the limelight made his entry into the scene on January 15, 1999 (five days after the incident) and was produced by the prosecution as a star witness. He utterly failed to prove his presence at the spot," the court said.

It discussed in detail the flip-flop of Kulkarni prior and during the trial.

During the trial, Kulkarni first identified Nanda as one of the occupants of the BMW car involved in the incident and later said the police had pressurised him to name the businessman.

He had earlier recorded his statement before a magistrate and did not talk about any pressure to name Nanda.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, July 20, 2009, 20:42

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