Ansal brothers summoned for tampering with documents

February 15th, 2008 - 9:35 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) A city court Friday issued summons to real estate tycoons Ansal brothers and four others convicted in the 1997 Uphaar cinema fire tragedy for allegedly removing, tampering and mutilating important documents related to the case. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) A.K. Kohar issued summons the six convicted men to appear before the court May 2.

The day-to-day hearing of the case, scheduled to begin in Delhi High Court Friday, will now begin Feb 29.

The economic offences wing of Delhi Police Jan 19 filed a supplementary charge-sheet against Gopal and Sushil Ansal, the owners of Uphaar cinema in south Delhi, and H.S. Panwar, Prem Prakash Batra, D.V. Malhotra and Anoop Singh. The charge-sheet was filed under the Indian Penal Code Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information to screen offenders) and 409 (criminal breach of trust).

The economic offences wing has already charge-sheeted Dinesh Chandra Sharma, a clerk in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Mamata Sahagal. The judge had last year convicted the two Ansal brothers and the others in the fire tragedy in which 59 people were killed June 13, 1997.

The charge-sheet said that court clerk Sharma was the henchman of the Ansals. They had entered into a conspiracy with him for tampering with evidence. The charge was prima facie made out against the Ansals on the ground that Prem Prakash Batra, an employee of the cinema hall owners, had got the clerk a job following his dismissal from court service at twice the normal salary in A-Plus Security Agency. The agency also provides security services to a company under the control of the Ansals, the charge-sheet said.

Sushil Ansal also provided a job to accused H.S. Panwar, a former Delhi Fire Service employee, in his company Sushant Estate after Panwar’s retirement.

“Evidence has come on record to prove that accused Panwar has committed serious acts of commission and omission during his service by rendering services to the Ansals,” the charge-sheet said.

The economic offences wing had registered the case in 2006 on the direction of the Delhi High Court following a petition by the Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy convener Neelam Krishnamurthy.

The removal and tampering of the papers came to light when the public prosecutor in the case noticed that several important documents filed along with the charge-sheet were missing from the court records or had been tampered with or mutilated by tearing off certain portions or sprinkling ink on them.

The prosecutor had brought this to the notice of the court, which ordered an inquiry and later ordered dismissal of clerk Sharma on the basis of the probe report.

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