DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined jail term for the Ansal brothers and slapped a fine of Rs. 60 crore in the 1997 Uphaar cinema fire tragedy. The top court has allowed the owners of the cinema hall, industrialist Sushil and Gopal Ansal to walk free on depositing fine of Rs. 30 crore each in maximum three months.
While people have been waiting for justice since 18 years, there are many who believe that justice has been denied to them following the verdict from the apex court.
Let’s take a look on five important facts related to Uphaar fire tragedy:
•Massive fire took place at Uphaar cinema on June 13, Friday, 1997 in Greenpark, Delhi during the 3 PM – 6 PM show of the famous movie, Border.
•After being trapped inside the cinema hall, 59 people were killed in the fire majorly due to the suffocation, while over 100 were seriously injured. Reports suggest that flames from an electrical transformer that was placed in the basement car parking of the theatre occupied with some 20 cars. It was believed that approximately 36 cars were parked instead of the admissible 18. The fire had then spread out to the five-storey building that housed the cinema hall.
•The Union Home Ministry had passed on the investigation on the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation and on November 15, 1997, the CBI file dchargesheet against the 16 accused including the owners of the theatre owners Sushil and Gopal Ansal for causing death due to negligence and endangering life among other things.
•Later on, the families of the people killed and other victims had formed ‘The Association of Victims of Uphaar Fire Tragedy (AVUT)’ that filed a civil compensation case and won Rs. 25 crore in compensation by the Delhi High Court.
•On August 19, 2015, the Supreme Court had fined Rs. 60 crore to the Ansal brothers.