Uphaar case: Engineer's witness deposes in court
The CBI, which is the prosecution agency in the case, would be cross-examining the witness on July 11, the next date of hearing.india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 21:20 IST
A sessions court has examined the defence witness in the Uphaar tragedy case amid allegations that the accused were deliberately employing "delaying tactics" to further slacken the pace of the nine-year-old trial.
RC Upadhyay, a former Delhi Vidyut Board Executive Engineer and star witness of accused AK Gera deposed before Additional Sessions Judge Mamta Sehgal, who is hearing the case.
Upadhyay was produced in court four months after the judge warned Gera in February this year of "simply buying time as he had till now not taken any steps to produce his witness (Upadhyay)."
In an hour-long examination, Upadhyay, who was the accused's superior officer, told the court that Gera was on the night of the incident in charge of maintenance of another zone and not the one in which the cinema hall was located.
The CBI, which is the prosecution agency in the case, would be cross-examining the witness on July 11, the next date of hearing.
Upadhyay's version, however, contradicts an earlier one given by prosecution witness PC Bhardwaj, an Assistant Engineer with DVB, who was the accused's immediate superior at the time.
Bhardwaj had deposed in court that the accused was indeed in charge of the area in which the Uphaar hall was located and he himself had slotted work to Gera on the fateful day.
Meanwhile, the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police, which is probing allegations of tampering of evidence in the case, would be submitting their final report before the Delhi High Court on August 8, 2006.
Fifty-nine persons, including 29 children, died and 104 were injured in the 1997 blaze.