New Delhi: Uphaar cinema verdict review. Top court sends Gopal Ansal to one-year jail, he has four weeks to surrender. The other brother Sushil Ansal stays out of jail because of his age.
The Supreme Court was hearing a plea to reconsider its own November 2015 judgment, where a hefty fine was imposed on the Ansal brothers in the 1997 Uphaar tragedy, in which 59 people died during a fire at the cinema hall in posh South Delhi.
In November 2015, the court had asked Sushil and Gopal Ansal, the owners of the Uphaar cinema hall, to pay a fine of Rs 30 crore each. The court had accepted their argument that a jail term will be too harsh for them in view of their age and the fact that they had already served their sentence partially. While Sushil Ansal had spent over five months in prison, Gopal Ansal was in jail for over four months.
Both have already paid the fine.
But the Central Bureau of Investigation, which was investigating the case and the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy, had petitioned the Supreme Court to review the verdict, saying a fine cannot be a substitute for the lives lost.
In its review plea, the association said the top court judgment had showed an “unwarranted leniency” on the men, whose conviction had been “upheld by all courts, including this court”. Their sentences, the petition said, had been substituted with fine “without assigning any reason”.
The petition also added that their sentences were “reduced to the period undergone without taking into account the gravity of their offence.”