The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted an interim relief of Rs 5.14 crore to dependents and injured victims of Uphaar cinema hall tragedy which claimed 59 lives and injured 103 persons here in June 1997.
The apex court passed the direction while recording an undertaking from the Union Home Ministry which offered to pay an ex-gratia of Rs 2.14 crore as its interim contribution and the cinema hall owner Ansal family which agreed to furnish Rs three crore as its immediate share.
The interim relief would be without any prejudice to the final compensation that would be awarded by the apex court which today reserved its judgement on the quantum of and recommendations to be made to the government to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
A bench of Justices R V Raveendran and K S Radhakrishnan, however, rejected the offer of another Rs one crore by the Ansals as its contribution to the Trauma Centre of the All India Institutue of Medical Science.
"We may agree with your offer of Rs three crore to the victims but we do not agree with your Rs one crore offer for the Trauma Centre as it appears that you want to evoke this court's sympathy for you," the bench told senior counsel A K Ganguly appearing for the Ansals.
The Ansal's offer of a total Rs four crore by way of interim measure was also rebuffed by the Association of Victims of Upahaar Tragedy (AVUT) whose senior counsel retorted "we do not want charity. Let them not intimidate the witnessses and tamper with court records."