The Supreme Court on Thursday directed real estate baron Gopal Ansal to serve a one-year jail term in connection with the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case in which 59 people had died.The apex court, in a majority verdict of 2:1, asked Gopal Ansal to surrender within four weeks to serve the remaining jail term of the one-year punishment.
However, the apex court gave relief to elder brother Sushil Ansal considering his advanced age by giving him the jail term already undergone by him, including the remission, in the case. The majority verdict pronounced by Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Kurian Joseph said that fine of Rs 30 crore each imposed on Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal by the apex court earlier was “not excessive”. The majority verdict was passed by Justices Gogoi and Joseph while Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel was in minority.
The apex court delivered the judgement on the pleas of CBI and the victims’ body seeking a review of the 2015 verdict in the case asking Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal to serve a two-year jail term if they fail to pay Rs 30 crore each as fine. The probe agency and the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) had sought review of the apex court verdict, delivered on August 19, 2015, sending Ansal brothers to two years rigorous jail term if they fail to pay Rs 30 crore each within three months.
The convicts have already paid the fine. 59 people had died of asphyxia when a fire broke out during the screening of Bollywood movie ‘Border’ in Uphaar theatre in Green Park area of South Delhi on June 13, 1997. Over 100 were also injured in the subsequent stampede
(Feature image source: PTI)