Uphaar case: Court defers order on plea against ex-IPS officer
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 21:27
  
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 case.

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 Kanth.

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".

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 21:27


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