Ansals’ bail plea rejected, to spend Diwali in jail

October 23rd, 2008 - 8:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Sushil KumarNew Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday slammed the door on real estate tycoons Ansal brothers, categorically ruling that no court will hear their bail pleas till the disposal of their appeals against their conviction for their lapses in the June 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy.A bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice G.S. Singhvi dismissed two separate petitions “in limini” by Gopal Ansal and his brother Sushil Ansal, saying: “We don’t want the Ansals to come again to the Supreme Court” with similar bail pleas.

A lawsuit dismissed “in limini” implies that it is completely devoid of any merit to be heard by any court and renders the petitioner incapable of raising similar pleas before any court.

The apex court’s order implies that the real estate tycoons will have to spend Diwali within the confines of Tihar jail.

The two petitions by the Ansals sought modification of the Sep 10 ruling of the bench, which had cancelled their bails and had ordered jail for them till disposal of their appeals by the Delhi High Court.

The bench had cancelled their bails in a case involving tampering and destruction of documentary evidence against them in the case related to their murderous lapses in triggering the tragedy.

Since Sep 11, a day after the cancellation of their bails, the Ansal have been in Tihar jail.

They moved the apex court Thursday seeking modification of its Sep 10 order, besides a direction to the high court to hear their bail pleas. The Ansals also pleaded to the apex court to grant them temporary bail till the high court decides on their bail plea.

But the court did not take kindly to the Ansals’ pleas.

“In garb of seeking modification of our order, you are seeking review of our order. You will have to file separate review petitions for that. If the review petition fails, you will have to file the curative petition. That’s the only option for you,” said the bench.

As Ansals’ counsel Sushil Kumar insisted for modification of the earlier order, the bench shot back: “How can we do that? We cannot blow hot and cold.”

As Kumar pleaded to the bench to allow the Delhi High Court to hear their bail pleas, it replied, “How can we allow that? The high court has no jurisdiction to hear the bail plea.”

As the lawyer persisted, the bench observed: “The high court had granted the bail wrongly. The bail should not have been granted at all to you.”

At this Kumar contended that the apex court order meant that Ansals would have to undergo the sentences imposed upon them for their criminal negligence in triggering the Uphaar fire tragedy even before their appeal against their conviction and sentence is decided by the high court, the bench said that it was not so.

The bench pointed out that their bail has been cancelled in the case related to their crime of destroying the documentary evidence against themselves in the trial court, while remaining out on bail in the main case of the Uphaar fire tragedy - which claimed 59 lives on June 13, 1997.

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