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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Relatives move HC, seek daily hearing against Ansals

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 28, 2013
First Published: 21:52 IST(28/8/2013) | Last Updated: 02:05 IST(29/8/2013)

The kin of the victims of the Upahaar cinema tragedy of 1997 have moved the Delhi high court seeking daily hearing in the case against theatre owners Gopal Ansal and Sushil Ansal for allegedly tampering with evidence.

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At least 59 people died of asphyxia in the fire on June 13, 1997, during the screening of the movie Border.

Justice Veena Birbal issued a notice to Delhi Police and sought a status report about the case before a trial court on a petition filed by the Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT).

The association wanted a speedy trial of the case that is pending before the trial court since 2006 against the Ansal brothers and Dinesh Sharma, a court staff.

"Even the charges have not been framed," association president Neelam Krishnamoorthy said.

The AVUT petition said: "... Because tampering and mutilation of a judicial file is an egregious offence against the entire justice delivery system, the case deserves to be tried expeditiously in a time-bound manner with utmost priority on a day-to-day basis."

The lower court had in January 31, 2003, ordered an inquiry after some documents related to the case went missing from the court records room.

After the inquiry, Sharma was dismissed by the district judge for tampering with the court records on June 25, 2004. The high court had ordered the police to register a case in this regard on May 5, 2006, and ordered it to complete the investigations in three months.
The police registered an FIR on May 17 and arrested Sharma.

It later filed a supplementary chargesheet in the court in which the Ansal brothers alongwith two others were made accused under the IPC Sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information to screen offenders) and 409 (criminal breach of trust).


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