November,6,2015: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has moved the Supreme Court seeking review of its verdict in Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy case. The court, in its August 18 verdict, had held Sushil and Gopal Ansal, owners of Uphaar Cinema, guilty of criminal negligence and fined them Rs 30 crore.
The court, however, had ruled that the two brothers should not be jailed for the 1997 incident in which 59 people were killed.
The CBI has now filed a petition in the court arguing that the it was not given enough time to put its views forward in the case. Along with the CBI’s plea, an association of victims’ kin has also filed a review petition of the Supreme Court order.
The Supreme Court had, on August 18, accepted the argument of senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who represented the Ansal brothers that the two be let off after considering the period of the imprisonment they had already served and also considering their age. Both are in their 70s. While Sushil Ansal spent five months in jail, Gopal was in jail for just over five months.
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 of Delhi. 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.