Uphaar fire tragedy case: Gopal Ansal surrenders before Tihar jail authorities

The apex court had earlier asked Gopal Ansal to surrender.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 20, 2017 9:23:04 pm
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Hours after the Supreme Court rejected Ansal brother’s plea asking for more time to surrender, real estate baron Gopal Ansal on Monday evening surrendered before the Tihar Jail authorities.

“Ansal surrendered around 5-5.30 PM. He is currently lodged in the hospital at Jail No. 3 as he complained of some health issues,” said a jail official.

“Sorry, we can’t,” said a bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul as senior counsel Ram Jethmalani urged the court to give a few more days to Ansal to surrender.

Last week, the Supreme Court had dismissed Gopal Ansal’s plea to not serve the remainder of one-year jail term in the 1997 Uphaar fire case, and had directed him to surrender by March 20.

Considering age-related complications, Justice Gogoi had on February 9 granted relief to 76-year-old Sushil Ansal by awarding him jail term already undergone during the trial. After which, Gopal had filed a plea in the supreme court seeking modification of its order on the grounds of parity, in which he said he was 69 years old and would suffer irreparable damage to his health if sent to jail. He had served the jail term for around four-and-a-half months.

In its February 9 judgement, the apex court had upheld the fine of Rs 30 crore each imposed on both the convicts and said it should be utilised for setting up a trauma centre.

Earlier, a two-judge bench of the apex court had on March 5, 2014 held Sushil and Gopal Ansal guilty, but differed on the quantum of sentence to be awarded to them after which the matter was heard by a three-judge bench.

The Delhi High Court had on December 19, 2008 awarded one-year jail term to both Sushil and Gopal Ansal in the case while reducing the two-year sentence imposed on them by the trial court.

On June 13, 1997, when hindi movie “Border” was being screened, a huge fire broke out at the Uphaar cinema hall in which 59 persons died of asphyxia and over 100 were injured in the stampede. The uphaar case has prolonged for almost 20 years.

(With PTI Inputs)

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