Uphaar Tragedy: Ansals Too Old To Go To Jail, Says SC
Eighteen years after 59 people were killed in a blaze inside Delhi's Uphaar cinema hall, its owners Gopal and Sushil Ansal, who have been held guilty of "criminal negligence", have escaped further jail term, with the Supreme Court noting that Sushil is "fairly aged" and his younger brother deserves "parity" with him. Sushil is 75, while Gopal is 67.
"We have noted the fact that as appellant No. 1 (Sushil) is fairly aged, it may not be fruitful to ask him to undergo rigorous imprisonment. On the ground of parity and on the peculiar facts of this case, so far as appellant No. 2 (Gopal) may also not be constrained to undergo the sentence, if he also pays the same amount of fine," said a three-judge bench led by Justice Anil R Dave.
Releasing its detailed judgment Wednesday -- more than a month after it said in open court that the Ansal brothers did not necessarily need to go back to jail -- the bench held that "ends of justice would meet" if the real estate barons shell out Rs 30 crore each as fine.
The bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Jospeh and Adarsh K Goel, said the amount of fine can be used either for the purpose of setting up a trauma centre in Delhi or for upgrading existing ones.