New Delhi: A judge hearing a case related to the 1997 Uphaar cinema fire tragedy Wednesday said that he would visit the spot before framing charges against former police officer Amod Kanth.
"I want to visit the spot, so that I can understand the seating arrangement (in the cinema hall) allowed by the former IPS officer (Kanth)," said Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Sharma.
However, the court has not fixed any specific date for the visit.
The court was hearing a case against Kanth for allegedly allowing extra seats in the cinema hall, leading to closure of one of its exits. Following a court order, a case was registered against Kanth on a plea made by Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT).
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has told the court that there was no evidence to charge Kanth. However, if possible, he could be charged for the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
AVUT had opposed the clean chit given to the former police officer and requested for his prosecution in the case. AVUT also alleged the CBI was trying to protect its former officer.
AVUT`s counsel and senior advocate K.T.S. Tulsi contended that charges should be framed against Kanth as he had the `knowledge` that installation of additional seats in the balcony of Uphaar cinema could lead to loss of life in an emergency situation.
On June 13, 1997, during the screening of Hindi film "Border", a fire engulfed the theatre, killing 59 people and injuring over 100 in the subsequent stampede.