Shri Arvind Kejriwal
Hon’ble Chief Minister
Government of Delhi
Subject: Urgent request from AVUT in connection with Supreme Court Judgement dated 19.08.2015 pronounced on sentencing in the Uphaar fire tragedy case.
Dear Shri Kejriwal,
We write to you with an urgent request and with the hope that you will find time from your hectic schedule to give my request the consideration it deserves. For purposes of introducing AVUT, we will be brief. The Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy ® (AVUT) was formed in the aftermath of the worst man-made disaster that struck Delhi on June 13th1997 at Uphaar cinema. The tragedy, which resulted in the loss of 59 innocent lives brought 28 families together not only to share their grief but also to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again. We have dedicated our lives to fighting an arduous legal battle seeking justice for the 59 lives that were snuffed out in this man made disaster.
You would have probably heard that after making the victims of the terrible Uphaar tragedy wait for justice for eighteen long years, the highest court in the land has done us a gross injustice by permitting the convicted Ansal brothers, Sushil and Gopal, to go scot free by paying a price of 60 crores to the Delhi Government, ostensibly for the construction of a trauma centre in Delhi NCR.
Sir, we believe that the message sent by this sentence is one that will prove to be dangerous for the safety and welfare of the citizens of this country, and more so for the residents of Delhi. Instead of imposing punitive measures on the convicts, the order actually gives convicts and criminals the option of paying a price for their freedom. By this logic the rich and powerful in the corporate sector who own most public spaces like multiplexes ,hospitals, shopping malls , schools could take hundreds of lives secure in the knowledge that even if he/she is convicted, payment of a penalty of 1 crore per life taken will ensure that he/she can go scot-free.
The Supreme Court has ordered that the Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal pay a sum of 60 crores to the Government of Delhi, but I request that as Chief Minister of Delhi, you should consider refusing to accept this money. This is nothing but blood money, stained with the blood of the 59 innocent lives that perished in the Uphaar fire for no fault of theirs. Accepting this money will send the dangerous message to thousands of government employees that they can indulge in corrupt practises, and permit unlawful activities to flourish in the capital, because ultimately they will be rewarded with crores of rupees for their misdemeanour. You may recall that authorities and employees of various licensing agencies such as Delhi Vidyut Board, PWD, MCD and DFS were held responsible for the Uphaar fire along with the Ansals. They will now receive a reward of 60 crores for the licenses they issued against all rules and regulations, and which resulted in the death of 59 people. We urge you to not accept this tainted reward, and support us in our fight to provide the country with safer public places. We fought this battle knowing that it could not bring back our loved ones, but could only make concerned individuals and agencies accountable for maintaining safety in public places. You had promised us a safer, corruption-free Delhi when you joined office as Chief Minister. We hope you will stand by this promise and accept our request.
We would be happy to provide any details or information you may require and can be contacted on the following numbers: