New Delhi: A Delhi court today deferred
the pronouncement of order on a plea by a body of victims of
1997 Uphaar fire tragedy seeking rejection of CBI`s report
giving a clean chit to former IPS officer Amod Kanth in the
The court of Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjeev Kumar has
fixed the matter for August nine for pronouncing the decision
on the petition by Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy
(AVUT) and CBI`s closure report disfavouring prosecution of
AVUT alleged Kanth, as the then Deputy Commissioner of
Delhi Police (Licencing), had allowed extra seats in Uphaar
cinema hall`s balcony which allegedly led to closure of exit
gates, leading to the death of 59 people due to asphyxia
following smoke caused by the fire during the screening of
Hindi film "Border".
Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, appearing for AVUT, had
said that Kanth in October 1979 allowed the theatre owners to
retain the extra seats in contravention of the affidavit filed
by him before the Delhi High Court.
The plea of CBI that the 37 extra seats were allowed
by the police officer as per the technical advice was wrong as
he himself had visited the theatre, Tulsi had said, adding
CBI`s closure report was "liable to be rejected."
Earlier, CBI, in pursuance of a Delhi High Court
order, had filed a report after probing the role of Kanth and
favoured his non-prosecution, saying he did not commit any
offence and had acted as per the technical advice.
The agency, in its report, had said there was no
witness to the fact that it was Kanth who had allowed extra
seats in the theatre for any consideration.
AVUT, led by Neelam Krishnamurthy who lost her two
children in the inferno, had sought rejection of CBI`s report
and prosecution of Kanth for his alleged role.
Kanth had allegedly allowed retention of extra seats
in the theatre in 1979 in violation of the Cinematography Act.
While awarding varying jail terms to 12 accused,
including theatre owners Sushil and Gopal Ansal, a trial court
had in December 2007 asked CBI to look into the role of Kanth
and other officials whose acts had "become a cause of the
tragedy in Uphaar cinema".