Uphaar case: Delhi court to announce verdict on November 20 (Update-Uphaar cinema)November 14th, 2007 - 2:38 am ICT by admin
The court had on September 21 rejected the Ansal brothers’ plea to file additional written submissions before the trial court.
Dismissing the plea, Justice S N Dhingra had said, “There is no force in the petition”.
“I find no error and infirmity in the judgement of the trial court (which had rejected their plea for submission of additional documents),” Justice Dhingra added.
Four accused - - R. M. Puri, K. L. Malhotra (both senior employees of hall), S. N. Dandona (Executive Engineer of the Public Works Department) and Delhi Fire Services officer Surender Dutt - - have died during the trial.
Among the other accused are R. K. Sharma, Ajit Chaudhary, N. S. Chopra, Manmohan Uniyal, Shyam Sunder Sharma, N. D. Tiwari, Hanswaroop Panwar, B. M. Satija, A. K. Gera and Beer Singh.
All the accused have been charged under Section 14 of the Cinematography Act.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a chargesheet on November 15, 1997, and the court admitted it on January 19, 1998.
The Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) had lodged an FIR alleging death due to negligence against Gopal and Sushil Ansal.
The CBI had alleged that the accused were directly and criminally negligent in the management of the theatre.
Senior advocate Harish Salve had contended that owners of the cinema hall were liable for penal action.
During the 10-year-old trial, the CBI had examined 115 witnesses. Among them, eight witnesses, termed as relatives of Ansals, have already turned hostile.
Fifty-nine people were choked to death, while 109 survived with injuries after the Uphaar Cinema caught fire leading to a stampede on June 13, 1997.
The theatre was engulfed when an overheated generator burst in the basement of the building. Men, women and children all scampered to rush out of the four cinema hall exits. (ANI)
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