Updated: November 8, 2021 4:13:19 pm
A Delhi court Monday sentenced real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal to seven years simple imprisonment for tampering with evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma awarded the sentence noting this was one of the biggest cases of his career and after “thinking over for many nights”, he decided that the “accused deserved punishment”.
The court has also imposed a fine of Rs 2.5 crore on each of the Ansals.
They were convicted under IPC Sections 201 (tampering of evidence), 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant) on October 8.
In its judgment convicting the accused, the court observed that the accused while facing trial in the case had destroyed critical documents “which were capable of proving their complicity in the said case”.
The court had said the accused persons destroyed the documents “through a meticulous planning in order to escape punishment by scuttling trial process and as such fiddled with our judicial system with great impunity”.
It also observed that the manner in which the accused subjected the process of law to “desecration” is “no less defiling the justice administration system”.
The court said that the accused persons “attacked on the very purity and sanctity of the justice system” and their misconception that they will get away with their “nefarious design from punishment has been exposed to the world at large”.
Along with the Ansal brothers, the court also held two of their employees, P P Batra, Anoop Singh and a former court staff, Dinesh Chand Sharma, guilty.
The case was lodged on the direction of the Delhi High Court while hearing a petition by AVUT chairperson Neelam Krishnamoorthy.
The tampering was detected for the first time on July 20, 2002 and a departmental inquiry was initiated against Sharma. He was suspended and terminated from services on June 25, 2004.
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