Interference in administration of justice cited as reason

Appeal to be heard on a day-to-day basis

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Saturday rejected a bail petition by Sanjeev Nanda, sentenced to five years’ rigorous imprisonment for mowing down six persons in the BMW hit-and-run case in 1999.

“I am of the considered view that the appellant (Nanda) does not deserve suspension of sentence during the pendency of the appeal,” ruled Justice Kailash Gambhir.

The High Court took a serious note of the allegation made against Nanda for interfering in administration of justice by influencing a key witness in the case in which two senior advocates, including his counsel, were found guilty.

“It may be true that the appellant was not directly involved in the contempt case, but it cannot be lost sight of that all efforts were being made to save the appellant (Nanda) from the rigours of law by adopting devious and murkier methods,” Justice Gambhir said.

The Judge also referred to a recent order of the Supreme Court cancelling the bail of the Ansal brothers in the Uphaar cinema fire tragedy case.

The Bench said that Nanda’s alleged exemplary and commendable behaviour could not be countenanced looking into the serious allegation against him for indulging in winning over witnesses and tampering with the process of investigations.

“In totality of the circumstances, I am of the view that personal liberty of the appellant does not outweigh the gravity of the offence where the precious lives of six innocent people were lost,” the Court said.

The Court, however, was of the opinion that Nanda’s appeal challenging his conviction and quantum of sentence be heard on a day-to-day basis for an early disposal of the case.