Bench formed to decide on Uphaar fire tragedy sentencing

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 11, 2015 03:00 IST

Chief Justice of India HL Dattu has constituted a three-judge special bench to decide on the quantum of punishment that should be given to the Ansal brothers – Sushil and Gopal – convicted for negligence in the Uphaar fire tragedy case of 1997.

A three-judge bench comprising justice AR Dave, justice Kurian Joseph and justice Amitava Roy would hear the appeal on Tuesday. The special bench was formed after the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) moved an application before the CJI.

The matter has been hanging fire since March 2014 after a bench of justice TS Thakur and justice Gyan Sudha Misra (since retired) disagreed over the quantum of punishment.

Justice Thakur retained one-year imprisonment for them, while justice Misra reduced the jail term to already undergone for Sushil considering his age but enhanced Gopal’s punishment to two years.

The Uphaar fire tragedy where 59 cinegoers had died of asphyxia in a massive blaze engulfed the theatre nearly 18 years ago.

All the dead were those who got trapped in the balcony of the theatre and died of asphyxia following the fire. Over 100 got injured in subsequent stampede on June 13, 1997 during the screening of Bollywood film Border.

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