Uphaar cinema fire: Court reserves order to suspend Ansals’ prison sentences in case of tampering with evidence | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Saturday reserved for December 3 its order on the suspension of the seven-year prison sentences imposed on real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal for tampering with evidence in the 1997 case of the fire at the Uphaar cinema, which claimed 59 lives.
Uphaar fire tragedy: Delhi court sentences real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal to 7 years in falsified evidence case
Additional sessions Judge Anil Antil reserved the order on appeals by the Ansals against their conviction and prison terms by a district court.
In addition to challenging their conviction and sentence, the Ansals had urged the Sessions Court to suspend their prison terms until the appeal is decided.
The court heard the arguments of the accused as well as the victim and the police and reserved the order.
Senior lawyer Vikas Pahwa, representing the Association of Victims of the Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), opposed the appeals and told the court that the offense of tampering with evidence is extremely serious in nature as it affects the entire criminal justice system.
Delhi police had also opposed the appeals filed by the Ansals and told the court that the suspension of convicted prison terms would trigger mental trauma and agony for the victims.
Police told the court that the punishment brought comfort to the victims of the tragedy and boosted their confidence in the justice system, also after 24 years.
If prison sentences for convicts are suspended within a month of incrimination, it will further erode the confidence of ordinary citizens of the country in the criminal justice system, Attorney General AT Ansari told the court.
The case is linked to the tampering of evidence in the main case of the fire tragedy, in which the Ansals were convicted and sentenced to two years in prison by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had, however, released the Ansals, taking into account the time in prison they had spent, on condition that they pay a fine of 30 crore rupees each, to be used for the construction of a trauma center in the national capital.
The district court also sentenced former court employee Dinesh Chand Sharma and two other people – PP Batra and Anoop Singh – to seven years in prison and fined them Rs 3 lakh each.
He imposed a fine of Rs 2.25 crore each on the Ansals.
The forgery was first detected on July 20, 2002, and a ministerial investigation was opened against Sharma, which was subsequently suspended.
He was later fired on June 25, 2004.
The prosecution said that after his service ended, the Ansal brothers helped Sharma find a job with a monthly salary of 15,000 rupees.
When the case was registered, the documents of the company where Sharma was employed were further falsified by its chairman Anoop Singh.
According to the indictment, the documents which were allegedly forged included a police memorandum giving details of recoveries immediately after the incident, the Delhi fire department’s files concerning the repair of a transformer installed inside the the Uphaar cinema hall, the minutes of the general manager’s meetings and four checks.
Of the six sets of documents, a check for Rs 50 lakh, issued by Sushil Ansal to himself, and the minutes of the General Manager’s meetings, proved beyond any doubt that the two brothers were taking care of the day-to-day business. from the theater to the location concerned. time, the indictment had indicated.
The fire broke out in the Uphaar cinema hall during the screening of the Hindi film “Border” on June 13, 1997, killing 59 people.
The case was brought on the instruction of the Delhi High Court, which was considering a petition filed by AVUT President Neelam Krishnamoorthy.

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