Delhi Patiala House court on Monday sentenced seven-year jail terms to Sushil and Gopal Ansal for tampering with evidence in the Uphaar cinema fire case. Furthermore, the court also imposed a fine of ₹2.25 crore each on the Ansals.
Delhi's Patiala House Court sentences seven years jail terms to convict businessmen Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal and others in the case related to tampering with the crucial evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case. The Court also ordered to take them into custody.
— ANI (@ANI) November 8, 2021
Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal were convicted of tampering with evidence in the case a month ago. However, the sentencing came today.
The Ansals were earlier jailed for two years by the Supreme Court. Later, they were released and fined ₹ 30 crores each.
In June last year, the Supreme Court had asked the Delhi government about the construction status of a second trauma care centre in Delhi’s Dwarka to be funded by the ₹ 60 crores fine from the Ansal brothers.
While pronouncing the judgment today, Chief metropolitan magistrate Pankaj Sharma Sharma said he spent nights thinking about the case, following which he reached the conclusion that the Ansal brothers deserved punishment.
“I think it is very hard to reach out to this decision given the complexities involved. After some thinking over some nights and nights, I have come to this conclusion that they deserve punishment,” the magistrate said.
Two other accused in the Uphaar fire tragedy, Har Swaroop Panwar and Dharamvir Malhotra, died on trial.
What is Uphear fire tragedy?
The fire at Uphaar cinema broke out during a screening of the war movie ‘Border’ in 1997. The fire safety plans of the theatre were not in place. In the resulting chaos, 59 people suffocated to death, while over 100 were injured in a stampede.
The case drew huge attention due to the profile of the property owners. Furthermore, the parents of young people who died in the fire teamed up to pursue the Ansals in court. A long legal battle that swung from allegations of negligence to homicide against the Ansal brothers was fought.