Real estate barons Ansal brothers moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking desealing of the Uphaar Cinema where a fire tragedy occurred in 1997. Fifty-nine people were killed due to asphyxiation on June 13, 1997, halfway through the screening of Hindi film ‘Border’ when a fire engulfed Uphaar Cinema, situated in south Delhi’s Green Park area. Over 100 were injured in the fire and the ensuing stampede.
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A trial court had sentenced the Ansal brothers to two-year rigorous imprisonment, in 2007. However, an year later the Delhi High Court reduced the sentence to one year. The Supreme Court upheld their conviction in the case in 2015 but considering their age and the period already spent by them in prison, it decided not to send them back to jail and rather asked the duo to pay a fine of Rs 30 crore each in lieu of a jail term.
The brother Sushil and Gopal Ansal, held guilty of “criminal negligence” had deposited Rs 60 crore with the Delhi government in adherence to the Supreme Court’s order.
The cinema hall has remained sealed since the tragedy.