New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday resumed hearing on the quantum of punishment for Ansal brothers - Gopal and Sushil – who had been convicted in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case.
In a major setback for the Ansal brothers, the apex court today said that the case of their conviction in the Uphaar fire tragedy case can't be reopened and today's hearing will remain focussed on their sentencing.
The matter is being heard by a 3-judge bench, where noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani had pleaded before the apex court to argue on facts relating to Ansals' conviction.
The apex court bench, however, asked him to raise it in a review petition later.
On March 5 last year, the Supreme Court had upheld the conviction of Gopal and Sushil Ansal in 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case.
The Supreme Court then deferred decision on quantum of sentence for Ansal brothers and transferred the case to a three-judge bench.
Earlier, the high court had reduced their sentence from two years to one year whereas the CBI and victims of the fire tragedy had demanded that the Ansals be convicted under more stringent sections.
A total of 59 people died and 100 were injured when there was a big fire at Uphaar cinema hall, in the heart of south Delhi, while a film was being screened on the evening of June 13, 1997. The fire started in the parking lot and then engulfed the building in the busy Green Park area - most people died in the ensuing stampede or were asphyxiated.
In 2003, the Delhi high court awarded compensation of Rs 18.5 crores to be paid - Rs 18 lakh to the next of kin of each victim above 20 years of age; Rs 15 lakh for victims below 20 years of age; and Rs 1 lakh each to the injured. The court ordered that this be paid with nine percent interest.
With PTI inputs