Court reserves order on Ansals plea for releasing passports

April 8th, 2008 - 8:52 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Tuesday reserved order on a plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking imposition of fresh conditions for releasing the passports of builder brothers Sushil and Gopal Ansal, sentenced in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy. Justice H.R. Malhotra reserved the order after hearing arguments on the release of the passports of the real estate tycoons.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) P.P. Malhotra, arguing on behalf of the probe agency, said that the court cannot release the passports as an appeal by the Ansals challenging their sentence is pending in the court.

Senior counsel Ram Jethmalani appearing on behalf of the Ansals told the court that his clients have gone abroad several times and had returned during the trial, and the court should release their passports on the basis of their earlier conduct.

However, the court stated that a formal order from it was necessary for them to get back their passports and apply for visas and then reserved its order.

The June 13, 1997, devastating fire at the Uphaar cinema hall, owned by the Ansals, left 59 people dead during the screening of Hindi film “Border”.

In December last year, the Ansal brothers and 10 others, including their employees, were convicted by a trial court for causing death due to negligence. They are presently out on bail.

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