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SC refuses early hearing to Ansals

SC refuses to accord an early hearing to a plea of Ansal brothers, seeking a direction to a lower court to accept their written arguments related to their trail in the Uphaar tragedy case.

delhi Updated: Oct 03, 2007 20:21 IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to accord an early hearing to a plea of the Ansal brothers, seeking a direction to a lower court to accept their written arguments related to their trial in the June 1997 Uphaar theatre fire tragedy case.

The bench headed by Justice HK Sema said the plea would be taken up for hearing on the day already slated for the purpose by the court's registry - Oct 12.

Appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which probed the case, senior counsel Harish Salve contended that it was a fresh ploy by the Ansal brothers to delay the trial.

He said Additional Sessions Judge Mamta Sehgal had already finished hearing arguments by various parties, including the state prosecutor CBI and the Ansal brothers, and was to deliver her verdict soon.

Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal face charges of murderous lapses, leading to a fire in Uphaar theatre in South Delhi on June 13, 1997, which claimed 59 lives and injured over 100 people.

On Aug 22, when the additional session judge was to announce her verdict, the two brothers wanted to file their written submissions.

Judge Sehgal had, however, refused their plea, saying that she had already reserved her order. Though she had earlier fixed Aug 22 for pronouncing the verdict, she was not able to do so that day and decided to fix the date on Oct 5 for delivering her judgment.

The Ansal brothers later approached the Delhi High Court against the additional sessions judge's decision but it too had dismissed their plea.