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SC declines CBI's plea for further hearing in Uphaar case


New Delhi, Aug 20: The Supreme Court on Thursday declined CBI's plea that it be heard 15 more minutes for advancing arguments on left out points on quantum of sentence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case in which convicted real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal escaped further jail terms on payment of a fine of Rs 30 crore each in three months.

"It will not be proper. We have already passed the order," a three-judge bench headed by Justice A R Dave said when senior advocate Harish Salve, who has been representing CBI in this case, sought 15 minutes time to argue some of the points in the matter.

Also read: 1997 Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy: Chronology of events

Uphaar tragedy: SC declines CBI's plea

"I have been doing this case pro-bono since 2000. Please grant us 15 minutes time from 3.45 to 4 PM today...If the court is not convinced, then throw us out," Salve said.

The bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and Adarsh Kumar Goel, did not allow the plea and asked the probe agency to file a review petition with all the points which have been left out.

Ansal brothers on Wednesday escaped being jailed in the 18-year-old gruesome Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy in which 59 people died with the Supreme Court asking them to pay a fine of Rs 30 crore each and restricting their jail term to the period already undergone by them.

While Sushil had spent over five months in prison, Gopal was in jail for over four months immediately after the tragedy.

Fifty-nine people, trapped in the balcony of the theater in South Delhi, had died of asphyxia following the fire and over 100 were injured in the subsequent stampede on June 13, 1997 during the screening of Bollywood film "Border".

Earlier, a bench of justices T S Thakur and Gyan Sudha Mishra (since retired) had on March 5, 2014, held real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal guilty, but differed on the quantum of sentence to be awarded to them.


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