Uphaar fire tragedy: accused fireman gets bail

December 20th, 2008 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Saturday granted bail to a former Delhi fire service employee in the Uphaar cinema tragedy that claimed 59 lives in 1997.H.S. Panwar’s bail was extended till the time of filing an appeal in the Supreme Court against the high court’s order. But he has been asked not to leave the country and told to surrender his passport to the court.

Panwar’s sentence was reduced from two years to one year Friday when the high court upheld the guilty verdict against real estate tycoons, the Ansal brothers.

The Delhi High Court indicted them for their “complete disregard” of safety norms in the Uphaar theatre owned by them.

“The negligent and careless inspection carried out by him has been held to be a significant and direct cause of the accident, which took away lives of innocent people and grievously injured several others,” the court said while reducing Panwar’s jail term from two years to one year.

“His vigil could have prevented the (issuance of) fire clearance certificate.”

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