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HC grants bail to Ansal brothers

The Delhi HC grants bail to Sushil and Gopal Ansal, who were convicted by a court in the 1997 fire tragedy case.

delhi Updated: Jan 04, 2008 18:46 IST

The Delhi High Court on Friday granted Uphaar Theatre owners -- Sushil and Gopal Ansal -- and two others, who were convicted by a lower court for their complicity in the 1997 fire tragedy case, bail.

Justice HR Malhotra asked Ansal brothers and Shyam Sunder Sharma and HS Panwar to furnish a personal and surety bond of Rs 50,000 each as a pre-condition for their release.

All the four convicts, who were recently awarded two years jail term each for their complicity in the tragedy in which 59 people had died during the screening of a movie, had approached the court seeking suspension of their sentence till the disposal of their appeals by the High Court.

A court here had on November 23 sentenced Sushil Ansal along with his brother Gopal -- the owners of Uphaar cinema hall -- to two-year jail term for causing the death by their negligent act.

Seven others -- Radha Krishan Sharma, N S Chopra, Ajit Chowdhary (Uphaar managers), Manmohan Unniyal (cinema's gatekeeper), Brij Mohan Satija, A K Gera and Bir Singh (all DVB officials) -- held guilty for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, were awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment.

Three others, convicted for offences similar to that of Ansal brothers, were also awarded two years' jail term each.

As many as 59 people had died due to asphyxia while over 100 others were injured in a subsequent stampede following a devastating blaze at Uphaar Cinema on June 13, 1997.