Uphaar tragedy: Court issues production warrant against Gopal Ansal
The theatre owners, Gopal Ansal and his brother Sushil, and five other persons are accused of tampering with evidence in the case, pending since 2006.delhi Updated: Aug 11, 2017 22:34 IST
A city court on Friday issued a production warrant against jailed real estate baron Gopal Ansal in a case related to tampering of evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass directed that the accused be produced on August 16.
On June 13, 1997, when the Hindi film “Border” was being screened, a massive fire had engulfed the Uphaar cinema, killing 59 people and injuring over 100.
The theatre owners, Gopal Ansal and his brother Sushil, and five other persons are accused of tampering with evidence in the case, pending since 2006.
A court on January 31, 2003 had ordered an inquiry after some documents related to the Uphaar case had gone missing from the court record room. After an inquiry, a court employee was dismissed.
The court directed Sushil Ansal to file a response on a plea by Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) that there were apprehensions that he played a fraud on the authority concerned to get his passport renewed.
The court also put two persons - Praveen Shankar Sharma and Deepak Kathpalia - on trial in a separate case of alleged harassment of AVUT chairperson Neelam Krishnamoorthy by passing lewd remarks inside the Patiala House court premises on the evening of May 10, 2007.
Krishnamoorthy, who lost two children in the Uphaar fire tragedy, has been fighting a legal battle on behalf of the victims’ families for the last 20 years.
On February 9, the Supreme Court had directed Gopal Ansal to undergo the remaining one-year jail term in connection with the tragedy. However, it had spared 77-year-old Sushil Ansal because of his age.
The apex court had also upheld the fine of R 30 crore each imposed on the brothers. Following this, Gopal Ansal had approached it seeking modification of its order on the grounds of parity, saying he was a 69-year-old and would suffer an irreparable damage to his health if sent to prison.
The plea was dismissed and Gopal Ansal subsequently surrendered before the Tihar Jail authorities on March 20.