The Petition came up before the High Court on Wednesday and Justice Anu Malhotra directed that she be apprised of the status of the trial and the number of witnesses cross-examined in the case. The matter has now been posted on 29 January for further hearing.
The Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) has filed a Petition before the Delhi High Court demanding a direction to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to expedite the trial in a case which is an offshoot of the main Uphaar trial.
The case relates to the alleged tampering of documents during trial of the main case involving real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal. Inquiry had been ordered in January, 2003, after some documents related to the case had gone missing from the Court's record room. Further, a letter written by Vice President of Ansal Properties Industries Ltd, V K Nagpal, to the Delhi Fire Service was also found torn in half in the judicial file. An FIR was then registered against a Court employee and a few other people were later arrayed as accused.
AVUT now alleges that despite charges being framed and upheld by the High Court, no witness has completed their deposition so far. It also points out that despite being a decade old, the case is given a date only once in one or two months. This, it says, violates Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which guarantees speedy justice.
It further submits, "...the commencement of the trial has been waylaid by the accused persons by filing frivolous applications in order to cause delay. The accused persons have filed application seeking cancellation of the production warrant of accused Gopal Ansal twice even, after the first application was dismissed...
... a bare perusal of the order-sheets clearly reveals that since the time this Hon’ble High Court has upheld the charges framed against the accused persons and directed the matter to trial, the accused persons on some or the other pretext have delayed summoning of the witnesses and their examination. The accused persons very tactfully in order to maintain their stand taken in the main Uphaar tragedy trial that they are too old to serve sentence, is delaying of the present trial as perhaps they will grow older at the end of the trial to serve their requisite sentence if they are found guilty. The Petitioner has been apprised that, already one accused in the present trial, H.S. Panwar has already died."
AYUT, therefore, demands that the Trial Court be directed to dispose of the case within 6 months on a day to day basis.