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BMW case: Witness identifies accused Sanjeev Nanda
May 17, 2007 17:45 IST
A key witness in the 1999 BMW hit-and-run case on Thursday identified the main accused Sanjeev Nanda, grandson of former naval chief S M Nanda, facing trial for allegedly mowing down five people.
Sunil Kulkarni, a Mumbai-based trader and an eyewitness to the incident in which Sanjeev is facing trial along with three others, also said that he had given a different version about a particular point under police pressure.
On being asked whether he could identify the persons who alighted from the offending car after the incident, Kulkarni pointed fingers towards Sanjeev Nanda who was wearing a white shirt.
"One of the persons is standing in the court room and he is wearing a white shirt," he said.
"I am unable to identify the second boy who came out of the car," he said adding other two other accused were not present inside the court room.
To a query as to why he, in his earlier statement, had stated that only one person alighted from the car, he said he was under pressure from the police.
Kulkarni was earlier discarded by the court as unreliable but was brought back as witness on a plea by the prosecution. But the defence tried to stall the prosecution move by approaching the high court, which cleared him to testify.
Taking note of the inconsistencies in his testimony, the court asked him as to why he named Sanjeev Nanda in his earlier statement when he had actually heard his nickname 'Sanj' being used by his friend after the accident, Kulkarni said that he was under police pressure.
The witness told the court that the said vehicle, a black car, had hit those persons who were standing on the road.
"When the car hit those people, a few of them flew in the air and the remaining fell on the sides of the car," Kulkarni said, while recording his statement as a court witness before Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar.
The witness said that three persons, who were inside the offending vehicle, alighted from the car to assess the damage and they again sat in the car and drove off.
"On seeing the incident, I was stunned and sat on the pavement," Kulkarni said adding that he tried to help the injured but could not do so as he was quite frightened by the incident.
He also tried to inform the police and tried dialing the helpline number but could not do so as the PCOs at Nizamuddin Railway station were out of order.
Nearly three days after the January 10, 1999 incident near the Lodhi Hotel, in which three police personnel were also killed, he met then Joint Police Commissioner Amod Kanth to inform him about it, he said.
The prosecution alleged that Nanda, who was driving, was in an inebriated state at the time of the accident.