Criminal Appeal against the judgement dated 20.11.2007
11.12.2007: Sushil Ansal filed an appeal against the impugned judgement praying for suspension of sentence and interim bail granted by the Ld Trial Judge be extended and confirmed till the final disposal of the appeal.
The Hon’ble Justice S N Dhingra passed the following orders:
Notice. Notice is accepted by Mr. Gaurav Sharma, Advocate for the CBI as well as Mr. K.T.S. Tulsi, Advocate appearing for the victims. Crl.M.B.No.1686/07 in Crl.A. No. 794/2007
Notice. Notice is accepted by Mr. Gaurav Sharma, Advocate for the CBI as well as Mr. K.T.S. Tulsi, Advocate appearing for the victims. He is permitted to intervene on behalf of victims.
List for arguments on appeal as well as on Bail Application on 2nd January, 2008.”
19.12.2007: Shyam Sunder Sharma filedan appeal against the impugned judgement praying for suspension of sentence and interim bail granted by the Ld Trial Judge be extended and confirmed till the final disposal of the appeal.
04.01.2008: The High Court stayed the execution of sentence and granted bail till pendency of the appeal with respect to Sushil Ansal, Gopal Ansal,N D Tiwari, Sham Sunder Sharma & H S Panwar. Justice H R Malhotra gave the following observation:
“In view of the above fact as also taking into consideration that the offence committed by the appellant is bailable and the appellant being on bail throughout the trial, execution of sentence awarded by the trial judge is stayed during the pendency of the appeal. The appellant is admitted to bail on his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs.50,000/- (rupees fifty thousand) with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial judge.
The application stands disposed of in terms of the aforesaid order.
The appeal be set down for final hearing on 15th February, 2008 at 12:30 p.m. The matter shall be heard on day to day basis subject to . convenience of the court and respective counsels.”
08.02.2008: Arguments advanced for grant of bail on behalf of Ajit Choudhary,Nirmal Singh Chopra,Manmohan Unniyal, A K Gera B M Satija & BirSingh. Order reserved.
02.04.2008 : Application moved on behalf of Ansal Theatre & Clubotels (P) Ltd for release of Uphaar Cinema.
09.05.2008:Arguments advanced by Mr Ram Jethamalani for the release of Uphaar Cinema.
14.05.2008: The arguments concluded with regards to release of Uphaar Cinema. Order reserved.
19.05.2008: Nirmal Singh Chopra & Ajit Choudhary managers Uphaar Cinema were granted bail and the bail application of Manmohan Unniyal ( Gatekeeper) was dismissed by Justice H R Malhotra with following observation:
“Nirmal Singh Chopra & Ajit Choudhary ,were not responsible,they being not expertise but the same was handled by the officials of DVB,therfore keeping them further in jail shall serve no purpose but shall be detriment to them and their family”
Man Mohan Unniyal—“He having not taken due precautions as was expected of him, being a gatekeeper and he being prima facie responsible for causing deaths of so many people because of gate not being opened promptly, I am not inclined to suspend his sentence of imprisonment. His application is, therefore, dismissed,”
19.05.2008: The passports of both Sushil Ansal & Gopal Ansal were released by the court of Justice H R Malhotra with following observation:
“……their passports remained with them throughout the trial and as and when they went abroad, they came back and reported to the court. Looking to the investments which they have made in India which everyday, everyone comes across, their various advertisements in the newspapers and hoardings, it is too remote to say that they will flee from India if they are given their passports. Thus, their bona fide speaks for itself. Therefore, this court is inclined to return their passports. Their passports are accordingly ordered to be returned to them, subject to the condition that they will inform the Registrar General of this Court about their visit to abroad and also furnish their complete address where they would stay when they go abroad. This fact will have to be supported by an affidavit and other supporting documents, if any, in their possession. If their visit to abroad is for a period of one month or less, mere information to the Registrar General shall be given in the manner aforesaid and if their visit exceeds the period of one month, then they shall move the court and seek permission from the court.”
19.05.2008: The bail application of A K Gera B M Satija & Bir Singh were dismissed by Justice H R Malhotra with following observation:
” Prima facie it appears that these three appellants had undertaken the job of repair of the transformer earlier in the day when there was a spark in the transformer.It is also come in evidence that repair was done with the help of hammer and dies whereas it ought to have been done with crimping machine with which,the repair is done effectively leaving nothing to chance whereas crimping machine was not used as it was either not available or not used beacuse of callousness. These are the three appellants who prima facie appear to be directly responsible for carrying out the repairs in the morning of 13.06.1997 and had also certified that as per the complaint received on 13.6.1997 morning,that necessary work was carried out on 1000 KV transformer and the local transformer was put on at about 11.30 AM.Yet fire erupted when matinee show was on ,taking the toll of 59 precious lives.”
“This court is not giving it’s firm opinion about their involvement at this juncture but only prima facie is of the view that they having attended to this transformer in the morning, fire should have not taken place in the evening, if proper repair had been carried out.Rest will be seen when their appeals come up for regular hearing but for the present, prima facie they seem to be responsible for this fire as these three were prime persons who had actually carried repairs of this transforme,they being expert and from DVB,therefore, I am not inclined to suspend their sentence at this satge. Their applications are accordingly dismissed.”
The matter is listed for 4th July 2008