Uphaar tragedy effect: SC to examine highrise buildings
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 22:53
  
New Delhi: In the backdrop of the 1997 Uphaar cinema tragedy which claimed 59 lives here, the Supreme Court on Thursday said it would like to examine the safety of multistoried buildings, which may include multiplex theatres, in the country.

A bench of Justices R V Raveendra and K S Radhakrishnan directed the MCD, DCP (licensing), erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board beside the Ansals, owners of Uphaar theatre, to file their suggestions on measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

"We would like to expand the scope of this petition to see whether it can be converted into a PIL," the bench said adding it would pass an appropriate order on the issue on Wednesday.

The bench made the remarks at the conclusion of the arguments made by Ansals and the government agencies which had earlier been directed by the Delhi High Court to pay compensation to the bereaved families and the victims of Uphaar fire tragedy.

The apex court brushed aside the defence of the Ansals and said the theatre management cannot pass on the buck to DVB by claiming that the fire was triggered by the official transformer installed by the power board.

"The theatre is owned by you. You have issued the tickets. You have increased the seats illegally, you have closed one of the exits and the gangway. So, you cannot escape liability," the bench said during the arguments.

Holding the owners of Uphaar cinema, MCD, Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) and licensing authority "guilty of negligence", the Delhi High Court had earlier directed the cinema owners to pay 55 per cent of the compensation award and the remaining 45 per cent by MCD, DVB and licencing authorities, each contributing 15 per cent.

The apex court said since DVB has accepted its liability and has also chosen not to appeal against the high court's direction for compensation, it was now left to the court to decide the extent of liability of the other three parties-- theatre owners, MCD and the DCP (licensing).

PTI


First Published: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 22:53


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