Uphaar tragedy: Life imprisonment sought for Ansals

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New Delhi, Nov 11 (UNI) The Delhi High Court was today told by the counsel for the families of the victims that the Ansal brothers, owners of the Uphaar Cinema, are guilty for the deaths of 59 people in the fire tragedy eleven years ago as they had wrongfully ordered extra seats in the hall.

Mr K T S Tusi, who appeared on behalf of Association of Uphaar Tragedy Victims(AUTV), said the Ansals were directly responsible for the deaths as they had altered the seating arrangement of the hall.

Sushil and Gopal Ansal are at present in Tihar jail and facing two-year imprisonment handed by a sessions court. They have filed an appeal against the order in the Delhi High Court.

Blaming the former DCP(Licencing) Amod Kant, Mr Tulsi said Mr Kant at the behest of the accused had overlooked the norms and permitted additional seats, which was in gross violation of the Cinematography Rules.

Due to the extra seats, which were permitted by the DCP,the balcony gate was removed closing the exit. Smoke, which bellowed from the generator placed in the basement of the hall, wafted straight into the hall, Mr Tulsi said. People seated in the basement could not leave the hall as there was no suitable emergency or exit door there and suffocated to death.

The HC is hearing the appeal of the Ansals against the trial court order which sentenced them to two-year imprisonment.In the day-to-day hearing going on in the court, the CBI has argued that the owners of the hall had committed omissions deliberately having full knowledge of the danger posed to the viewers sitting in the balcony. Since there were some illegal acts and illegal omissions by the Ansals which resulted in the tragedy, two-year imprisonment is less for them which should be converted to life imprisonment, the CBI implored.


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