Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy: SC upholds conviction of Ansal brothers

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New Delhi, March 5: Seventeen years after the fire tragedy engulfed the Uphaar Cinema in Delhi, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the Ansal brothers (Sushil and Gopal) were more concerned about making money than ensuring safety of cinema-goers.

A three- judge SC bench also said that a contemptuous disregard to law by owners of Uphaar cinema hall led to loss of lives.

The Supreme Court deffered decision on quantum of sentence to Ansal brothers. The court double has transferred the case to a three-judge bench.

The Ansal brothers were found guilty of causing deaths by negligent act.

Ansal brothers have sought an acquittal from the Supreme Court.

In 2007, a trial court in Delhi ordered two years' rigourous imprisonment for them. But, in 2008, their two years' sentence was reduced two one year by the Delhi High Court.

Ansal brothers have sought an acquittal from the Supreme Court. Howveer, the CBI and victims of the fire tragedy have demanded that the Ansals be convicted under more stringent sections.

On June 13, 1997, Uphaar cinema hall fire tragedy in South Delhi claimed 59 lives and injured over 100, who had gone to watch Bollywood movie "Border" at the ill-fated theatre.

The fire started in the parking lot and then engulfed the building in the busy Green Park area - most people died in the ensuing stampede or were asphyxiated.

In 2003, the Delhi high court awarded compensation of Rs 18.5 crores to be paid - Rs. 18 lakh to the next of kin of each victim above 20 years of age; Rs. 15 lakh for victims below 20 years of age; and Rs 1 lakh each to the injured. The court ordered that this be paid with nine per cent interest.

OneIndia News

(With PTI inputs)

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