Uphaar fire: Delhi HC upholds charges of evidence tampering against Ansals

Theatre owners Gopal Ansal and his brother are among those accused of tampering with evidence in the case, pending since 2006.

delhi Updated: Jul 06, 2017 19:17 IST
New Delhi
Uphaar fire tragedy,Ansal brothers,Delhi high court
A major fire broke out in south Delhi's Uphaar Cinema on June 13, 1997. Firefighters and locals rescued many trapped inside, but 59 died due to asphyxiation. Over 100 were injured. (PTI file photo)

The Delhi high court on Friday paved the way for the trial of theatre owners Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal for the alleged tampering of evidence in a case related to the 1997 fire tragedy at the Uphaar cinema hall.

A trial court had ordered framing of charges against 7 accused, including Ansal brothers, in May 2014 on charges of abetment of offence, causing the disappearance of evidence, criminal breach of trust by a public servant and criminal conspiracy.

Justice Siddharth Mridul of the high court held there was adequate material on record before the trial court that justifies framing of charges against Ansal brothers and others. It directed the lower court to proceed with the trial in the case.

“The material gave rise to a strong suspicion that accused committed the offence for which charges were rightly framed,” Mridul said.

Apart from Ansals, Anoop Singh, Prem Prakash Batra, Harswaroop Panwar, Dharamveer Malhotra as well as a court employee, Dinesh Chandra Sharma, were accused of tampering with evidence in the case that is pending since 2006.

All the accused have denied the allegations against them.

A fire broke out at the theatre during the screening of Bollywood film Border on June 13, 1997, killing 59 people and injuring over 100.

A court on January 31, 2003, ordered an inquiry after some documents related to the Uphaar case went missing from the court record room. After an inquiry, the court employee Sharma was dismissed from service.

First Published: May 12, 2017 12:43 IST