SC hands one-year jail term to theatre owner for Uphaar tragedy

SC hands one-year jail term to  theatre owner for Uphaar tragedy

 The Supreme Court on Thursday sentenced real estate baron Gopal Ansal to a year in jail in the 1997 Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy case, by “correcting” its own 2015 judgement.

A three-judge bench by a 2:1 majority partially allowed a plea by the CBI and the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy by enhancing Gopal’s jail term.

However, the court declined the plea to reconsider its judgement relating to Gopal’s older brother Sushil Ansal, who was sentenced to the jail term that he had already served in judicial custody.

With regard to its previous order that Sushil and Gopal would be spared a further jail term if they paid a fine of

Rs 30 crore each, the court agreed that there was an error (in the 2015 judgement) as “there is no provision under the IPC for substitution of the sentence by fine”.

While Sushil is 76 years, Gopal is aged 68. Both had remained in jail for nine months and four months, respectively, during the pendency of the case.

They were held guilty of criminal negligence in the fire incident, which claimed 59 lives, during the screening of Bollywood film ‘Border’ in the theatre owned by them.

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