Uphaar cinema fire: Court reserves order on Ansal brothers’ appeal against 7-yr-jail term

Reported By:DNA  Web Team| Edited By: DNA Web Team |Source: DNA Web Desk |Updated: Jul 08, 2022, 10:04 PM IST

On Friday, a Delhi court reserved its decision on appeals filed by real estate tycoons Sushil and Gopal Ansal challenging their convictions and seven-year prison sentences for tampering with evidence in a case related to the 1997 Uphaar cinema fire, which killed 59 people.

District judge Dharmesh Sharma reserved the order for July 18 after hearing arguments from both sides.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa appearing for the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), told the court that the ultimate desired result was not just restricted to the tampering of documents and court records, but to secure the acquittal of the Sushil Ansal, Gopal Ansal and one H S Panwar in the main Uphaar case.

Besides Ansals’ the court also reserved the order n the appeals filed by former court staff Dinesh Chand Sharma and two others — P P Batra and Anoop Singh — who too were awarded seven-year jail terms each and were imposed with a fine of three lakh rupees each on them.

The court had also imposed a fine of Rs 2.25 crore each on the Ansals.

The case is related to tampering with the evidence in the main fire tragedy case in which the Ansals were convicted and sentenced to a 2-year jail term by the Supreme Court.

The SC however released them taking into account the prison time they had done on the condition that they pay a Rs 30 crore fine each, to be used for building a trauma centre in the national capital.

As per the charge sheet, the documents tampered with included a police memo giving details of recoveries immediately after the incident, Delhi Fire Service records pertaining to repair of transformer installed inside Uphaar, minutes of Managing Director’s meetings, and four cheques.

The fire had broken out at the Uphaar cinema during the screening of the Hindi film ‘Border’ on June 13, 1997, claiming 59 lives.