Non-bailable warrants (NBWs) were issued against brothers Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal by a Delhi court Tuesday for their non-appearance in a case related to alleged tampering of documents during the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy trial.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat issued the NBWs against the real estate barons for March 28.
Hours after the warrants were issued, the duo moved the court for cancellation of the same and sought that their applications in this regard be heard.
The case, which is at the stage of recording of evidence of prosecution witnesses, was listed for hearing in pursuance of the High Court’s direction to be heard thrice a week. The court’s direction came after Neelam Krishnamoorthy, who lost her two children in the fire, sought directions for a speedy trial.
On December 6 last year, the HC had directed the lower court to make an endeavour to pronounce its verdict in the matter by July 15, 2019, and to fix at least three dates for hearing per week. It had also asked the Delhi government and other parties in the case to cooperate in the trial to expedite disposal of the matter.
The case is related to alleged tampering with a judicial file, over a letter written by Ansal Properties Industries Ltd vice-president V K Nagpal to the Delhi Fire Services. An FIR was registered in this regard against the accused persons.
A trial court in May 2014 had ordered framing of charges against the seven accused, including the Ansal brothers, on charges of abetment of offence, causing disappearance of evidence, criminal breach of trust by a public servant and criminal conspiracy.
The charges were upheld by the High Court as well. Two of the seven accused died during the course of trial. All the accused have denied the allegations against them.
The Ansal brothers were also convicted for the fire at the cinema hall that claimed 59 lives.