Uphaar case: Convicted DVB staff moves HC

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New Delhi, Jan 11: The Delhi High Court admitted today a petition by a former Delhi Vidyut Board employee praying for suspension of seven-year rigorous imprisonment in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case.

Working as senior electrician with the DVB, Bir Singh had repaired the transformer at the Uphaar cinema on the morning of June 13, 1997. However a fire broke out from the transformer at the theatre claiming 59 lives watching the hindi blockbuster Border the same day. Singh was among 12 persons sentenced by the trial court on November 20 under various provisions of the IPC for causing death.

Hearing the petition, Justice H R Malhotra issued notice to the CBI to reply by January 13.

Pleading innocence, the electrician called the lower court sentence wrong. He claimed to have no complicity or any direct role in the incident and that he had wrongly been held guilty under Section 304 part II of the IPC.

The court, however, refused to grant him bail saying that the CBI was yet to be heard on the issue. The Ansal brothers and three others were sentenced to two years' imprisonment. Seven other convicts were sentenced to seven years' jail each.

Radha Krishan Sharma, N S Chopra, Ajit Chowdhary;Uphaar managers, Manmohan Unniyal; cinema's gatekeeper, Brij Mohan Satija, A K Gera and Bir Singh ;all DVB officials were handed down seven years' jail term.


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