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[Uphaar Tragedy] SC Dismisses Curative Petition Filed By Victims

Press Trust of India
20 Feb 2020 5:35 AM GMT
[Uphaar Tragedy] SC Dismisses Curative Petition Filed By Victims
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The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the curative petition filed by an association of the victims of the 1997 Uphaar cinema fire tragedy case, sparing the Ansal brothers further jail term.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde, and justices N V Ramana and Arun Mishra considered the curative plea by the Association for Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) in-chamber and dismissed it.

"We have gone through the curative petitions and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out.... Hence, the curative petition is dismissed," the bench said in its order.

On February 9, 2017, the apex court had by a 2:1 majority verdict given relief to 78-year-old Sushil Ansal considering his "advanced age-related complications" by awarding him the jail term which he had already served.

It had, however, asked his younger sibling Gopal Ansal to serve the remaining one year jail term in the case.

The AVUT, through its president Neelam Krishnamoorthy, had sought reconsideration of the verdict by filing the curative plea.

The apex court had in August 2015 allowed the Ansals to walk free and asked them to pay a fine of Rs 30 crore each.

As many as 59 people died and 100 were injured in the fire during the screening of Hindi blockbuster Border on the evening of June 13, 1997. 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 as the escape routes were blocked by illegally fixed chairs. The trial court had sentenced the duo to two years' rigorous imprisonment in November 2007. But in December 2008, the Delhi High Court reduced their sentence to one year. While disposing of the appeals filed by the brothers challenging the sentence imposed by HC, Justice Thakur retained the one-year jail term for the duo as imposed by the HC, Justice Misra reduced the jail term of Sushil considering his age to a period already undergone in jail (seven months), but enhanced the sentence of Gopal to two years. Finally, the matter was placed before three judges bench for final decision on the question of sentencing.

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