Delhi HC refuses stay on Trial By Fire, web show on Uphaar tragedy releases on Netflix

Jan 13, 2023 12:52 PM IST

Refusing to grant a stay on the film's release, Delhi high court has allowed Abhay Deol's Trial By Fire to premiere on Netflix on Friday. The film is about the 1997 Uphaar cinema tragedy in Delhi.

Delhi high court gave major relief to Abhay Deol, Rajshri Deshpande and the producers of their new film Trial By Fire after it refused to grant an interim stay on the film's release. Trial By Fire is based on the 1997 Uphaar Cinema tragedy. (Also read: Abhay Deol unveils trailer of Trial By Fire based on Uphar cinema tragedy. Watch)

Abhay Deol and Rajshri Deshpande in a still from Trial By Fire.
Abhay Deol and Rajshri Deshpande in a still from Trial By Fire.

Real estate baron Sushil Ansal had filed a plea against producers of Trial By Fire and the bench of Justice Yashwant Varma rejected the plea. Sushil was convicted in the Uphaar tragedy case and he sought a permanent and mandatory injunction restraining the production company and others from releasing Trial By Fire through his plea.

Trial By Fire is based on the book Trial By Fire: The Tragic Tale of the Uphaar Fire Tragedy that was written by Neelam Krishnamoorthy and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy. Rajshri and Abhay essay the roles of Neelam and Shekhar, respectively.

Sushil's lawyer, senior advocate Siddharth Aggarwal submitted that he (Sushil) was held guilty under Section 304A of IPC (causing death by negligence), and not murder. He added that the series labels him as a 'murderer', and that the “book is grossly defamatory and wilfully false”. Sushil also sought restraint of further publication and circulation of the book, published by Penguin Random House Ltd.

Senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, the lawyer for Netflix told the court that the plaintiff was “not entitled to any relief” and the book, on which this web series is based, has been in public domain since 2016. Rajiv added that the trailer for Trial By Fire releases online on January 4 but Sushil didn't approach the court before January 10, just three days prior to the show's release date (January 13).

However, senior advocate Vikas Pahwa appeared for Upahar Tragedy Victims Association, in opposition of the suit and said, "When the book was published, an application was filed in the Apex Court that they shouldn't be allowed to travel abroad. Notice was issued to them and reference of the book was in application."

A fire broke out in former Uphaar cinema hall at Green Park (Delhi) on June 13, 1997 leaving 59 people dead while more than a hundred people were injured. The fire broke out during the screening of the Hindi film Border.

Sushil Ansal, along with his brother and several others, were convicted in the case and owners of the cinema, including Sushil, were sentenced to a year in prison.

(ANI inputs)

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