The Delhi High Court has rejected the pleas of the Ansal brothers – Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal. The brothers had sought suspension of sentencing in the Uphaar Cinema tragedy evidence tampering case. The plea of their former employee Anoop Singh Karayat was, however, accepted. Subsequently, the Ansal brothers will continue to remain in jail.
The Patiala House Court had convicted the Ansals on charges of tampering with evidence in the Uphaar tragedy case on November 8, 2021. The court ordered the Ansals to be taken into custody immediately from where they were transferred to Tihar jail. Patiala House Court slapped a fine of Rs 2.25 crore each against Sushil and Gopal Ansal.
Besides the Ansal brothers, court staff Dinesh Chand Sharma and other individuals PP Batra, Anoop Singh Karayat, Har Swaroop Panwar and Dharamvir Malhotra were booked in the evidence tampering case. Two accused – Har Swaroop Panwar and Dharamvir Malhotra—died during the course of the trial. Court had imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh each on the other three accused.
The matter of evidence tampering in the case first came to light on July 20, 2002 and a departmental enquiry was initiated against Dinesh Chand Sharma. Sharma was suspended and terminated from services on June 25, 2004.
What is the Uphaar Cinema tragedy?
On June 13 1997, a fire broke out in the Uphaar Cinema halfway through the screening of Hindi film Border. 59 people died of asphyxia or breathing difficulty whereas over 100 others were injured in the ensuing stampede. Uphaar Cinema is situated in Delhi’s Green Park area.
(With inputs from Aneesha Mathur)
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