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New Delhi, February 20, 2020
The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a curative petition filed by a victims' group in the 1997 Uphaar cinema fire tragedy case.
After this judgement, the Ansal brothers will not go to jail for further terms. The brothers had escaped further jail terms after the court's direction in 2015 to shell out Rs 60 crore in penalty.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde, and comprising Justices N. V. Ramana and Arun Mishra, in-chamber considered the curative plea by the Association for Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT)and dismissed it.
The court said: "We have gone through the curative petitions and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out.... Hence, the curative petition is dismissed."
The AVUT, through its president Neelam Krishnamoorthy, had sought review of the verdict. The association filed the curative petition in the top court seeking more jail time for the brothers for negligence, leading to the horrific fire which killed 59 people. This incident later came to be known as the Uphaar tragedy.
The apex court had in August 2015 allowed the Ansals to walk free and asked them to pay a fine of Rs 30 crore each.
In February 2017, the top court had through a 2:1 majority judgement given relief to 78-year-old Sushil Ansal, citing his "advanced age-related complications" by awarding him the jail term which he had already served.
However, the court had asked his younger brother Gopal Ansal to serve the remaining one year jail term.
On June 13, 1997, halfway through the screening of Hindi film "Border", a fire broke out in the Uphaar cinema, located in Green Park in south Delhi, killing 59 people in one of the worst fire tragedies.