Real estate tycoon Sushil Ansal on Monday approached the Delhi High Court challenging the sentence awarded by a lower court for the fire tragedy at the Uphaar cinema hall co-owned by him in which 59 people were killed 10 years ago. The matter is likely to come up for hearing on Tuesday.
On November 23, the Ansals were awarded a two-year jail sentence for the June 13, 1997, fire tragedy. They were immediately granted bail.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police on Monday told the high court that they were investigating the alleged nexus between the Uphaar cinema owners, brothers Sushil and Gopal Ansal, and a retrenched district court staff Dinesh Chandra Sharma, who was dismissed for tampering with the evidence in the case.
The Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), which is pursuing the case against the Ansals, had filed a petition in the high court saying that the bail of prime accused Sushil Ansal should be cancelled because it was at his behest that Sharma had destroyed the evidence.
It was a serious offence and the bail of the accused should be rejected as he might tamper further with evidence, the petition said.
The high court had directed Delhi Police to institute a probe to find out whether there was a nexus between the Ansals and Sharma.
Preliminary investigations had zeroed in on court official Sharma, who was dismissed after a probe by Additional Sessions Judge SC Malik, for tampering with evidence and dereliction of duty.
Interestingly, Sharma, who had been charge sheeted for removing critical evidence from the court records to show that one of the Ansals had nothing to do with the management of the cinema, could be held accountable for what happened on the fateful evening.
The documents removed by Sharma included cheques signed by Gopal and Sushil Ansal and records of meetings that they had attended with various government bodies in connection with day-to-day running of the cinema hall till 1997.
The Ansals now claim that they had ceased to be on the board of directors from 1988 onwards.
Returning favour to Sharma for what he did for them, the Ansals are bearing the expenses of the school fees for his children and have got him employment in a security firm called A Plus.
The trial court had framed charges against 16 accused, including the Ansal brothers, for their alleged involvement in the fire tragedy in which more than 100 people were also injured.