Uphaar Fire Tragedy: Gopal Ansal Gets One Year Imprisonment

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday sentenced Gopal Ansal to one year imprisonment in 2015 Uphaar cinema fire tragedy case.

In view of Gopal Ansal’s already spent four months in jail, the apex court has asked him to complete the remaining months in the prison. Sushil Ansal, however, was let off due to his old age.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) have sought review of the Apex Court verdict, delivered on August 19, 2015, sending Ansal brothers to two years of rigorous jail term if they fail to pay Rs. 30 crore each within three months. The convicts have already paid the fine.

A three-judge bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Adarsh Kumar Goel, which had reserved the judgement on the review pleas after hearing lengthy arguments, advanced by counsel for CBI, AVUT and Ansal brothers is likely to pronounce its verdict.

59 people trapped in the balcony class of the theatre had died due to asphyxia and more than 100 were injured in the subsequent stampede following a fire that broke out during the 3-6 p.m. (Matinee show) screening of Hindi movie ‘Border’ on June 13, 1997.

Neelam and Sekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost their daughter Unnati and son Ujwal in the tragedy eighteen years ago, are fighting the case from lower courts to the India’s highest court for the justice to the victims.
The Krishnamurthys have sought more stringent punishment so that such incidents do not happen again.

The victims’ body had also mentioned the review plea for urgent hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur who said a new bench would be constituted to hear the review petitions filed by CBI and the association.

Prior to that, a bench headed by Justice A.R. Dave, now retired, had decided to hear in open court the petitions filed by CBI and AVUT seeking review of the 2015 verdict.

Following the judgement, Sushil and Gopal Ansal had deposited Rs. 30 crore each to avoid the jail term.