Uphaar tragedy: Govt yet to apprise CBI of its action | india | Hindustan Times
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Uphaar tragedy: Govt yet to apprise CBI of its action

Even eight years after CBI recommended departmental action against 12 errant officials of Delhi Fire Service and the Licensing department for their role in 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy, the city Govt has not intimated the probe agency about action taken against them.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2009 10:03 IST

Even eight years after CBI recommended departmental action against 12 errant officials of Delhi Fire Service and the Licensing department for their role in 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy, the city government has not intimated the probe agency about action taken against them.

The CBI, in its report submitted before District and Sessions Judge IK Kochhar, said the response from Delhi government about the action taken against the 12 officials is awaited.

However, MCD, Public Works Department and Delhi Viduyt Board have intimated the CBI about the action taken against their 16 officials, the report said.

"The Chief Secretary, Government of NCT Delhi, was accordingly requested by CBI, vide letter dated March 17, 2001, to take such action as deemed fit against these officials... Response from government is awaited," it said.

The probe report was filed in pursuance of a court's directive in 2007 that the role of Amod Kanth, the then Deputy Commissioner of Police (licensing), be looked into afresh as he had allegedly allowed retention of 37 extra seats in Uphaar theatre in 1979 in violation of the Cinematograph Act.

The extra seats in balcony of the theatre had blocked an exit which proved fatal during the inferno, the court had noted.

However, the CBI, which recently gave clean chit to Kanth, had recommended action against 28 officials of various authorities for compromising with safety measures in the theatre.

Punitive departmental action against 16 officials of MCD, PWD and DVB has been taken. However, the fate of recommendations vis-a-vis 12 others of Delhi Fire Service and Licensing department has not been intimated to the CBI, the report said.

Discussing the role of errant officials, the CBI said temporary permits for running the theatre were issued for various periods without the approvals of Deputy Commissioner of Police (Licensing).

"No temporary permit was granted to Uphaar Cinema for the period from March 20, 1991 to March 31 same year and August 1, 1992 to September 30 same year. Thus it appears that Uphaar cinema was allowed to function during these two periods without any licence which is violation of the Delhi Cinematograph Rules," the CBI said while identifying the errant officers.

The probe agency, which had not favoured the prosecution of 28 officials as accused in the case, had asked the Delhi government and their respective employers to take disciplinary action against them.

While awarding varying jail terms to 12 accused including theatre owners Sushil and Gopal Ansal, a trial court had in December, 2007, asked the CBI to look into the role of Kanth and other officials whose acts had "become a cause of the tragedy in Uphaar cinema" that had claimed 59 lives in 1997.