Uphaar fire case: Gopal Ansal surrenders to serve one-year sentence

Uphaar case Gopal Ansal asked to surrender SC refuses to give him more time

In a major development to the Uphaar cinema fire case, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant relief to Gopal Ansal and asked him to surrender and undergo his one-year sentence.

Fifty-nine people, trapped in the balcony of the Uphaar theatre in south Delhi, died of asphyxia following the fire and over 100 were injured in the subsequent stampede on 13 June 1997 during the screening of Hindi film Border.

The top court had ordered him to surrender by March 20.

The deadline is this evening.Today, his lawyer told the Supreme Court that President Pranab Mukherjee is not available and till he makes a decision, the court should give his client more time to surrender.

More news: Oil drops on rising USA drilling, steady OPEC supply

Like his elder brother Sushil Anasal, Gopal Ansal - the builders of the theatre - had been convicted for criminal negligence that led to the loss of lives. While Gopal Ansal has already served four months of his four year sentence which was reduced to a year.

For 20 years, the case has dragged on. They had to pay a fine of Rs 60 crore.

The court during a ruling this month said that since Gopal Ansal, did not suffer any age-related complications, as is the case with Sushil Ansal, there could be no principle of parity and he must spend one year in prison. The Mint had reported the CBI as saying in the petition that it was a miscarriage of justice since it had not been given enough time to express its views.

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