Ansal brothers arrested, granted bail by CBI

August 27th, 2008 - 1:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) Real estate tycoon brothers Gopal and Sushil Ansal were arrested in connection with the Uphaar fire tragedy and granted bail soon after, in accordance with a Supreme Court order that had issued bailable arrest warrants against the two.Confirming the arrests of the brothers, who own the Uphaar cinema property where 59 people were killed in a fire on June 13, 1997, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Joint Director Arun Kumar said: “We have executed the arrest warrants issued by the Supreme Court.”

“As the warrants were bailable, we also granted them bail on their furnishing a personal bond,” Kumar told IANS, adding that the warrants had been executed in the last “two or three days”.

CBI sources said an agency official visited the residence of Sushil Ansal on Saturday and executed the warrant against him. The warrant against Gopal Ansal was executed on Monday.

A person facing a bailable arrest warrant is entitled to bail by the investigative agency asked to execute the warrants. A person facing a non-bailable warrant, however, gets bail only from a court of law.

On Aug 13, the Supreme Court had issued bailable warrants against the Ansal brothers on an allegation that they were manipulating the judicial system and delaying the disposal of their appeal against their conviction while remaining out on bail.

The allegation had been made by Neelam Krishnamurthy, president of the Association of Victims of the Uphaar Fire Tragedy, who has been spearheading the legal battle against those guilty for the tragedy which killed 59 and injured over 100 others during a screening of the film “Border”.

The two Ansal brothers were held guilty by a Delhi trial court on Nov 20, 2007 for criminal negligence that led to the devastating fire. They were subsequently sentenced to a jail term of two years each by the trial court.

However, the sentences were suspended by the Delhi High Court.

The apex court bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal, which had issued the bailable warrants against the two brothers and their two former employees on Aug 13, had on a subsequent hearing on Aug 22, ticked off the CBI for not following the court orders expeditiously.

Ordering the CBI to execute the arrest warrants against Ansal brothers without delay, the bench had asked the investigative agency to file its compliance report to the court by Aug 28.

The apex court is slated to hear Krishnamurthy’s plea on Aug 29 (Friday).

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