Timeline of the Uphaar fire tragedy case

December 19th, 2008 - 5:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS) Following is the chronology of events in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case:June 13, 1997: 59 people die of asphyxia as a fire breaks out in south Delhi’s Uphaar cinema during the screening of the Hindi movie “Border”. Over 100 were injured in the subsequent stampede.

July 22, 1997: Theatre owner Sushil Ansal and his son Pranav arrested in Mumbai by the crime branch of Delhi police.

July 24, 1997: Probe transferred from Delhi police to the Central Bureau of Inevestigation (CBI).

Nov 15, 1997: CBI files chargesheet against 16 accused including theatre owners Sushil and Gopal Ansal.

March 10, 1999: A sessions court presided by L.D. Malik initiates trial.

Feb 27, 2001: Court frames charges against accused under various sections, including sections 304 (culpable homicide), 304 A (causing death by negligent act) and 337 (hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

May 23, 2001: Recording of prosecution witnesses’ testimony begins.

April 4, 2002: Delhi High Court asks trial court to try to wrap up the case by Dec 15.

Jan 27, 2003: Ansals’ plea seeking re-possession of the theatre rejected on the ground that place of incident is to be preserved to appreciate evidence.

April 24, 2003: Delhi High Court awards Rs.180 million compensation to be paid to the relatives of victims.

Sep 4, 2004: Court starts recording statements of accused.

Nov 5, 2005: Recording of testimonies of defence witnesses begins.

Aug 2, 2006: Court concludes recording of testimony of defence witnesses.

Aug 9, 2006: Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Mamta Sehgal inspects the theatre.

Feb 14, 2007: Accused start advancing final arguments.

Aug 21, 2007: Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) approaches Delhi High Court seeking conclusion of trial within a fixed time frame.

Aug 20, 2007: Senior advocate Harish Salve appears for CBI and advances final arguments.

Aug 21, 2007: Judgement reserved. Court fixes Sep 5 for pronouncement of verdict.

Sep 5, 2007: Court defers pronouncement of verdict and says it would fix the date of judgement on Oct 22.

Oct 22, 2007: Court fixes Nov 20 as date of verdict.

Nov 20, 2007: Court convicts all 12 accused, including Sushil and Gopal Ansal, in the case and sentences them to two years imprisonment.

Jan 4, 2008: Delhi High Court grants bail to Ansal brothers and two other accused.

Sep 11, 2008 : Ansals sent to Tihar Jail after Supreme Court cancels their bail.

Nov 17, 2008 : Delhi High Court reserves trial court order.

Dec 19, 2008 : Delhi High Court upholds trial court order convicting Ansal brothers but reduces their sentence from two years to one year.

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