Published On : Thu, Mar 9th, 2017

Uphaar case: Gopal Ansal has to go to jail by March 20, says SC

Gopal Ansal

New Delhi: The Supreme Court dismisses real estate baron Gopal Ansal’s plea against his jail term in the Uphaar fire tragedy case. Ansal, who was to surrender today, gets time till March 20 to do so.

Gopal Ansal had sought relief that he should not be asked to serve the one-year jail term like his elder brother Sushil Ansal. Both the brothers were found guilty in the 1997 Uphaar cinema fire case in which 59 people were killed.

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who is Gopal Ansal’s lawyer has sought relief that his client be granted liberty not to surrender till the hearing of his appeal. Now that his appeal has been heard, Gopal Ansal will head to jail.

A bench, in a 2:1 majority verdict on February 9, had granted relief to 76-year-old Sushil Ansal considering his “advanced age-related complications” by awarding him the jail term already undergone and had asked younger sibling Gopal to surrender in four weeks to serve remaining one-year jail term in the 20-year-old case.

Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, appearing for the Association for Victims of Uphaar Tragedy led by Neelam Krishnamoorthy, had opposed the plea, saying the review pleas of the CBI and the association have already been decided and “there cannot be a review of the review judgement”.

59 persons had died of asphyxia in the Uphaar cinema during the screening of Hindi movie ‘Border’ on June 13, 1997.

Gopal had filed the plea seeking modification of the February 9 verdict asking him to surrender for serving a year in jail.

He had sought a relief similar to the one given to his brother, claiming that he was 69-years old and would suffer irreparable damage to his health if sent to prison.