The date 13th has come back to haunt the families of Uphaar fire tragedy victims yet again. The 28 grieving families who lost their family members on June 13, 1997, have been left disappointed after the Supreme Court’s (SC) verdict on Thursday, also a 13th, that reduced the amount of compensation. The distraught families now have no where to go.
“The issue was never about money, but about deterrence. Our 15 year-long fight for safer public places in India has gone down the drain,” said Neelam Krishnamurthy, convener of the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy, who lost her two children in the incident.
The families feel there is a strong need for a public safety law to make public places safer.
“Fifteen years after the incident, the amount has been reduced. It can’t get worse. The decision ridicules our fight for justice,” said Naveen Sahney, who lost his 21-year-daughter.
In a setback to the families, the SC on Thursday nearly halved the sum of compensation awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and slashed punitive damages to be paid by the cinema owners, the Ansal brothers, from Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 25 lakh.