Uphaar fire tragedy: Court declines to restrain Ansals from flying abroad

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday refused to pass any order on prosecution's plea seeking curbs on Ansal brothers from moving out of the country, in a case of alleged tampering with evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sumit Dass observed that Ansal brothers Sushil and Gopal had challenged the order on the charges framed against them for allegedly tampering with evidence in the Uphaar tragedy case in the Delhi High Court.

Uphaar fire tragedy: Court declines to restrain Ansals from flying abroad

Uphaar Cinema owner Sushil Ansal (left). AFP

The defence counsels of Ansals brothers informed the CMM that the Delhi High Court had reserved its order on their plea challenging trial court's order, dated 31 May 2014, and requested the judge to wait for the High Court's decision.

The court said that it could not pass any observation as the case files were in the possession of the High Court.

The magistrate told the prosecution that it could move the plea seeking restraining of the Ansal brothers from moving out of the country before the Delhi High Court.

Earlier in the day, Public Prosecutor AT Ansari requested the court to impose condition on the Ansal brothers that they could not fly abroad without permission. He apprehended that Ansals would flee the legal clutches.

The trial court in 2014 framed charges against the seven accused, including Ansal brothers, under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code -- 109 (abetment of offence), 201 (causing the disappearance of evidence), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

Theatre owners Gopal Ansal, his brother Sushil Ansal, Anoop Singh, Prem Prakash Batra, Harswaroop Panwar, Dharamveer Malhotra as well as a court employee, Dinesh Chandra Sharma, are accused of tampering with evidence in the case, pending since 2006.

On 13 June, 1997, when the Hindi film "Border" was being screened, a fire engulfed the theatre, killing 59 people and injuring over 100. The fire was sparked by a blast in a transformer in an underground parking lot in the five-storey building which housed the cinema hall and several offices.

A court on Jan 31, 2003 ordered an inquiry after some documents related to the Uphaar case went missing from the court record room. After an inquiry, the judge dismissed a court employee.


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Updated Date: Mar 16, 2017 19:02:16 IST

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