Wednesday, March 5, 2014

1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of Gopal and Sushil Ansal in 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case.

The Supreme Court deffered decision on quantum of sentence to Ansal brothers. The court double has transferred the case to a three-judge bench.

"Ansals were more concerned about making money than ensuring safety of cinemagoers," the court said.

Earlier, the high court had reduced their sentence from two years to one year whereas the CBI and victims of the fire tragedy have demanded that the Ansals be convicted under more stringent sections.

A total of 59 people died and 100 were injured when there was a big fire at Uphaar cinema hall, in the heart of south Delhi, while a film was being screened 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 - most people died in the ensuing stampede or were asphyxiated.

In 2003, the Delhi high court awarded compensation of Rs 18.5 crores to be paid — Rs. 18 lakh to the next of kin of each victim above 20 years of age; Rs. 15 lakh for victims below 20 years of age; and Rs 1 lakh each to the injured. The court ordered that this be paid with nine per cent interest

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