Thursday, October 13, 2011

SC reduces Uphaar cinema Compensation

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday drastically reduced compensation to be paid to families of the 59 people charred to death inside Uphaar cinema 14 years ago and absolved the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and licensing authority Delhi Police of any liability.
Giving its verdict on the civil liability issue arising from the fire and the death and injuries in the theatre owned by the Ansals, a bench of Justice R V Raveendran and K S Radhakrishnan modified the Delhi high court’s decision to award Rs 18 lakh in compensation to the kin of every adult (over 20 years) who died, Rs 15 lakh for each minor (less than 20 year) who died and Rs 1 lakh to each injured.
The bench reduced the amount to Rs 10 lakh for each adult and Rs 7 lakh for each minor. It did not change the Rs 1 lakh to each injured and also kept intact the direction to pay 9% interest on the compensation amount from July 14, 1997.
Of the 59 who died, 36 were adults and 23 minors. The fire had left 103 injured.
Reduction of compensation and letting off MCD and Delhi Police left the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy spearheaded by Neelam Krishnamoorthy crestfallen.
Though it took 14 years for finalization of compensation, which will now be paid only by the Ansals and the erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB), the apex court kept open a window for the victims and their families to seek enhancement of the payout.

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