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HC adjourns hearing on Ansals' bail cancellation till tomorrow

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 19 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today adjourned hearing on a plea asking for the cancellation of the bail applications of the Ansals, owners of the Uphaar cinema, till tomorrow afterhearing their counsel.

Contending that the allegation of tampering with the evidence produced before the trial court was ''baseless and unfounded,'' senior counsel Altaf Ahmad, appearing for Gopal Ansal and his family members, submitted before Justice R C Jain that the evidence might have been tampered with by the store-keeper (Ahmad) who had been dismissed after an inquiry.

Saying that the nature of allegation against the Ansals was of ''conjecture and suspicion only,'' he said conjecture and suspicion, however strong, might not be construed as evidence.

Mr Ahmed cited a Supreme Court ruling to prove his point that Ansal's bail could not be cancelled on mere assumption that he might have stood to benefit from tampering with the evidence.

The counsel appearing for Delhi Fire Service HS Panwar contended that the Uphaar cinema victims lacked a locus standi to file the appeal in the High Court for cancellation of bail of the accused.

''At best, the case ought to have been filed by the prosecution,'' he argued, adding that ''the victims have formed an association from among a crowd''.

Justice Jain adjourned the hearing till tomorrow.

The Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) had yesterday appealed to the Delhi High Court to reject the bail of Uphaar Cinema owner Sushil Ansal and others, for allegedly tampering of evidence produced before the trial court.

The trial court had framed charges against 16 accused, including proprietors of Ansals properties Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal, for their alleged involvement in the Uphaar fire tragedy on June 13, 1997 which left 59 dead and more than 100 injured.


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