Uphaar tragedy: Ansal brothers walk free; SC imposes Rs 60 crore fine

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New Delhi, Aug 19: In a major setback to the kin of Uphaar cinema fire tragedy, the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Aug 19, allowed industrialist brothers- Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal to walk free.

In its verdict, The SC ordered them to deposit whopping fine of Rs 30 crore each in 3 months.

Uphaar

The SC awarded the sentence for a period undergone by Ansals in jail in Uphaar case in which 59 cine-goers had died.

[1997 Uphaar fire: Victims' families await closure of case]

The apex court further said that the fine of Rs 60 crore, to be deposited by Ansals, would be utilised by Delhi government.

Awarding the jail term for a period already undergone by the industrialists, the three-judge bench of Justices A R Dave, Kurian Joseph and Adarsh Kumar Goel asked them to pay the total fine of Rs 60 crore in three months and deposit it with the Delhi government, which in turn will spend the money on welfare schemes.

While Sushil Ansal has spent over five months in prison, Gopal has spent jail time of over four months.

The bench rejected the submissions of senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for CBI, that the convicts be sent to jail to serve the remaining jail term.

"My instruction from CBI is to press for their custody," Salve said, when the court sought his views.

Senior advocate KTS Tulsi, who represented the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), also said that the convicts not only be jailed, but rather their punishment should be enhanced.

Both brothers were restrained by the apex court on April 22, 2015, from leaving the country without its permission.

[Families of Uphaar tragedy victims rue delay in justice]

Fifty-nine people, trapped in the balcony of the theatre, died of asphyxia following the fire and over 100 people got injured in subsequent stampede on June 13, 1997 during the screening of "Border" movie.

[Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy: SC upholds conviction of Ansal brothers]

The Ansals had challenged their conviction and had maintained they were in no way responsible for the incident as the fire mishap they claimed was on account of the DVB transformer.

OneIndia News

(With agency inputs)

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