Families of the Uphaar cinema fire victims have moved the Supreme Court seeking registration of criminal cases against its owners Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Limited and certain bank officials for "fraudulently" mortgaging the theatre's properties to raise funds for its real estate business.
In an interim application moved before the apex court, the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy also sought initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against the Ansal family and an inquiry by an independent agency like the CBI to probe the alleged massive fraud.
It was alleged that instead of raising an amount of Rs 3.4 crore for partly settling the compensation claims of the victims' families, the Ansals had raised a whooping Rs 130 crore through fraudulent means for consolidating their own real estate business in and around the capital
On October 11, 2004, the apex court had permitted Ansal Properties that owned the theatre, to mortgage the cinema house's properties to raise money for paying compensation to the families of the 59 people who perished in the fire tragedy on June 13, 1997.
The apex court order was specific that the said property should be mortgaged only for the purpose of raising money for the compensation amount and that owners, "shall not create any other encumbrance of any other third party interest in the cinema building."