Uphaar Case: SC Rejects Gopal Ansal’s ‘Living On Charity’ Plea

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The Supreme Court, on Thursday, ordered Uphaar Cinema owner Gopal Ansal to surrender on 20 March in the 20-year-old case. The businessman has already spent a little over four months in jail as a part of his one year sentence.

The apex court dismissed his plea seeking that he be excused from completing the jail term. His brother, Sushil Ansal, 79, had been granted relief on the grounds of his advanced age. Gopal, 69, had sought similar relief, but a special bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi refused to alter its earlier verdict. The bench extended his deadline to surrender from 9 March to 20 March.

Live Law quoted his lawyer, Ram Jethmalani as saying that Gopal Ansal deserved a clear acquittal.

Gopal Ansal is living on the charity of some people. Gopal is a businesswoman, how could he foresee any mishap in his cinema and he deserved clear acquittal

The bench also dismissed the petition filed by the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT). The body had moved the Supreme Court, seeking a modification of its order sentencing cinema owner Sushil Ansal to the period already undergone by him in jail due to his age-related complications.

Also Read: Uphaar Tragedy: Lost Faith in Judiciary, Lament Victims’ Parents

At least 59 people died of asphyxia and more than 100 others were injured in a stampede situation that occurred after fire broke out in Uphaar cinema on 13 June 1997, during the screening of JP Dutta’s film Border.

Also Read: Remembering Uphaar Tragedy: When Courts’ Kindness Buried Justice