SC pulls up CBI on Ansal brothers' arrest
The Supreme Court ordered the CBI to arrest real-estate tycoons for lapses that led to Uphaar theatre fire tragedy in which 59 people were killed.delhi Updated: Aug 22, 2008 18:17 IST
Angered by the CBI's failure to execute arrest warrants against Uphaar cinema owners, Sushil and Gopal Ansal, the Supreme Court on Friday sought an explanation from the investigating agency over lapses in complying with its order.
A three-judge bench of Justices B N Aggarwal, G S Singhvi and J M Panchal, initially, declined to take up the matter for further proceedings until the warrants issued against Sushil and Gopal Ansal are executed.
But later, the court said it would take up the matter after examining the CBI's explanation.
On August 13, the apex court had issued bailable arrest warrants against the Ansal brothers and two others in the Uphaar Cinema fire case, and hinted that it would direct the Delhi High Court to conduct a day-to-day hearing on the appeal pending before it.
The apex court rejected the argument of senior counsel Abhishekh Manu that the two owners of Uphaar cinema were present in court, hence, there was no need for execution of arrest warrants issued against them.
"We don't like this. Our order must be complied with. We have said that in our order. First, let it be executed," the bench said when the counsel tried to pacify the court.
The apex court gave vent to its anger after senior counsel K T S Tulsi, appearing for the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), complained that the Ansal brothers had not been arrested till date despite bailable warrants being issued against them.
Fiftynine cinegoers were killed in the inferno at the Uphaar Cinema in South Delhi on June 13, 1997.