CBI today gave a clean chit to former Delhi Police officer and Congress leader Amod Kanth, accused of illegally allowing retention of 37 extra seats in Uphaar theatre, where a fire in 1997 claimed 59 lives.
Amod Kanth's role as the DCP (licensing) came under the scanner of a court that decided the 1997 Uphaar fire case.
Kanth, however, denied any wrong doing in the issue.
"I have duly assisted the CBI during the probe of the case and had already submitted every possible records to the investigators," Kanth said, adding "neither any evidence had then come out during the trial, moreover, the CBI had not indicted me."
"In fact, the decision to retain 37 extra seats, out of additional seats 100, in the balcony of Uphaar was arrived at following the Delhi High Court order," Kanth, now the Central Vigilance Officer with the Delhi Jal Board, told reporters on Novmber 24, 2007.
Earlier, Additional Sessions Judge Mamta Sehgal, while awarding sentence to 12 convicts in the case, had given the CBI liberty to look into the role of DCPs, involved in granting temporary licenses to run Uphaar.
The court order had come on an application filed by Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) seeking impleadment of Kanth as an accused in the case for his alleged role in retaining 37 extra seats in the balcony of Uphaar, which reportedly closed the emergency exit door.
It was alleged that it was done in the violation of the Cinematography Act.
Kanth, who was the DCP licensing in 1979-80, said during this brief tenure he had ensured the cancellation of a Lt Governor's order allowing ten per cent increase of seats in the 50 theatres of the capital.