Apex court told of Ansals’ arrest and release on bail

August 29th, 2008 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Friday informed the Supreme Court that it had arrested property developers Ansal brothers and released them on personal bonds to execute the bailable arrest warrants issued against them by the apex court earlier for allegedly subverting the judicial system.Appearing for the CBI, senior counsel Harish Salve told the bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice G.S. Singhvi: “The CBI has executed the bailable arrest warrants against the Ansals.”

In a separate compliance report submitted to the court, the CBI said: “The bailable warrant of arrest in respect of Sushil Ansal was executed on Aug 23. In respect of Gopal Ansal, the bailable warrant of arrest has been executed on Aug 25.”

“The reason why the warrant could not be executed against Gopal Ansal on Aug 23 is that the officer executing it was told that Gopal Ansal was out of Delhi and will be available on Aug 25,” CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police R.S. Kuril told the apex court in his compliance report.

The apex court on Aug 22 had ticked off the CBI for delaying the execution of arrest warrants against the Ansals and their two former employees on Aug 13 and had ordered the agency to promptly arrest them and execute the bailable arrest warrants. The apex court had also asked for the agency’s compliance report of its order by Aug 28.

Seeking the CBI compliance report, the apex court had said on Aug 22: “Call for report from the CBI as to why bailable warrants of arrest in relation to Gopal Ansal, Sushil Ansal, Ajit Chaudhary and Nirmal Singh Chopra (former employees of the Ansals at the Uphaar theatre) have not been executed.”

A person facing a bailable arrest warrant is entitled to bail by the investigative agency asked to execute the warrants. He is let off immediately after he furnishes a personal bond with some sureties to abide by the orders of the court, which issues the warrant.

A person facing a non-bailable arrest 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 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 a legal battle against those guilty for the fire tragedy in which 59 people were killed and over 100 others injured June 13, 1997 during the screening of the film “Border”.

The Ansal brothers were held guilty by a Delhi trial court on Nov 20, 2007, for criminal negligence that led to the 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.

After the CBI apprised the apex court of execution of arrest warrants against Ansals and their two former employee, the court adjourned the hearing on the matter to a later date due to paucity of time.

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