UPHAAR APPEAL UPDATE (JUDGEMENT RESERVED)

 

13.06.1997:                 59 innocent children, women & men were asphyxiated to death and over 100 injured in the Uphaar Cinema Fire.

 

15.11.1997:                 CBI files charge sheet against 16 accused including Sushil Ansal & Gopal Ansal u/s 304,304(A),337,338 r/w 36

IPC section 14 of Cinematograph Act.

 

04.01.1999:                 The case is committed for trail by the MM to the session court exactly after one year one month & eighteen days.

 

27.02.2001:                 The charges are framed against all the 16 accused as per the charge sheet.

 

During the course of the trial 4 accused expired. Total 115 Prosecution witnesses were examined.

 

 

20.11.2007:                 Judgement  of Ld ASJ Mamta Sehgal convicting the 12 accused.

 

23.11.2007:                 Order on sentence by Ld ASJ as per the chart given below:

 

                                   

ACCUSED

CONVICTION

SENTENCE

PRESENTLY

SUSHIL  ANSAL

Owner/Licensee

Uphaar Cinema

S.304A, 337,338 r/w 36 IPC

S.14 OF CA 1952

2 YRS.

IN PRISON

(11.9.2008)

GOPAL ANSAL

Owner/Licensee

Uphaar Cinema

S. 304A, 337,338 r/w 36 IPC

S.14 OF CA 1952

2 YRS.

IN PRISON

(11.9.2008)

RAJENDER

MOHAN PURI

Director Uphaar Cinema

DECEASED)

S.304 r/w 36 IPC

 

DIED 9.1.2005

KISHAN LAL MALHOTRA

Dy.GM Uphaar Cinema

DECEASED)

S.304 r/w 36 IPC

 

DIED 4.5.2004

RADHA KRISHAN SHARMA

Sr Manager Uphaar Cinema

S.304 r/w 36 IPC

7 YRS.

ON BAIL

(MEDICAL GROUNDS)

NIRMAL SINGH CHOPRA

Asst.Manager Uphaar Cinema

S.304 r/w 36 IPC

7 YRS.

IN PRISON

AJIT

CHOWDHURY

Manager- Admn Uphaar Cinema

(DECEASED)

S.304 r/w 36 IPC

7 YRS.

DIED ON 6.12.08

MANMOHAN UNIYAL

Gatekeeper Uphaar Cinema

S.304 r/w 36 IPC

7 YRS.

IN PRISON

BRIJ MOHAN

SATIJA

DVB

S.304 r/w 36 IPC

7 YRS.

IN PRISON

ANAND KUMAR GERA

DVB

S.304 r/w 36 IPC

7 YRS.

IN PRISON

BIR SINGH

DVB

S.304 r/w 36 IPC

7 YRS.

IN PRISON

S.N.DANDONA

PWD

(DECEASED)

Ss. 304A, 337,338 r/w 36 IPC

 

DIED 28.8.2002

SHYAM SUNDER

SHARMA MCD

Ss. 304A, 337,338 r/w 36 IPC

2 YRS.

ON BAIL

NARAYAN DUTT TIWARI

MCD

Ss. 304A, 337,338 r/w 36 IPC

2 YRS.

ON BAIL

HAR SWARUP PANWAR DFS

Ss. 304A, 337,338 r/w 36 IPC

2 YRS.

ON BAIL

SURENDER DUTT  DFS

(DECEASED)

Ss. 304A, r/w 36 IPC

 

DIED 15.3.2002

 

 

11.12.2007:                 Sushil Ansal filed an appeal in Hon’ble High court followed by other accused.

 

04.01.2008:                 Hon’ble Justice H R Malhotra passed an order for day to day hearing from 15.02.2008.

 

12.01.2008:                  Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy ( AVUT) filed a Revision Petition in the

High Court  forenhancement of    charge from 304 (A) to 304 against Sushil Ansal,Gopal Ansal, N D Tiwari,SS Sharma &H S Panwar

 

19.05.2008:                 Ajit Choudhary & N S Chopra Manager Uphaar Cinema were granted bail by Hon’ble High Court

 

The appeal was being heard twice a week.

 

13.08.2008:                 AVUT approached the Hon’ ble Supreme  Court for cancellation of bail of Sushil Ansal,

Gopal Ansal ,Ajit Choudhary & N S Chopra. Bailable warrant issued against all the four convicts

 

10.09.2008:                 Hon’ble Supreme Court canceled the bail granted by the High Court of all the four

convicts with following directions.

 

“We have heard learned counsel for the parties at length, perused the voluminous record and gave our anxious consideration to the entire matter.Ordinarily, we would have disposed of these appeals by recording a detailed order, but keeping in view the fact that the appeals preferred by the aforementioned four persons and others who were convicted by the tria Court are pending hearing before the High Court and any expression of opinion on the merits of the case is likely to prejudice the case of either of the parties, we refrain from adopting that course. However, in the facts and circumstances of the case, we are convinced that the High Court was not justified in granting bail to Shri Nirmal Singh Chopra and Shri Ajit Chaudhary, who have been convicted under Section 304 read with Section 36 I.P.C. 

 

So far as Shri Sushil Ansal and Shri Gopal Ansal are concerned, we are of  the view that even though they have been convicted under Section 304-A read with Section 36 I.P.C., Section 337 read with Section 36 I.P.C. and Section 338 read with Section 36 I.P.C. and it is well settled that in an appeal against conviction under these sections, the  offences being bailable, bail is granted without much ado but, in the facts and circumstances of  the present case, especially in view of the conduct of these accused persons after grant of bail during trial, the High Court was not justified in granting bail to them. 

 

Accordingly, the appeals are allowed, impugned orders granting bail to  S/Shri Sushil Ansal, Gopal Ansal, Nirmal Singh Chopra and Ajit Chaudhary are set aside, bail bonds furnished by them during the pendency of these appeals pursuant to the orders of this Court are cancelled and they are directed to surrender before the  trial Court at Patiala House, New Delhi, latest by 4.00 p.m. tomorrow, i.e. 11th September, 2008, to serve out the remaining period of sentence.         

 

It is, however, made clear that this order shall not, in any manner, prejudice the case of any of the accused persons in the appeals which are pending before the High Court or the case arising out of F.I.R. No.207/2006 dated 17th May, 2006, P.S. Tilak Marg, New Delhi, which is pending trial before the Additional Chief  Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi.

 

Having regard to the facts of this case we feel that it would be in the interest of justice that the appeals pending before the High Court are disposed of with utmost expedition.  We are told that the learned Single Judge who is presently hearing the appeals is not in a position to devote full time as he is in-charge of the original jurisdiction.  Therefore, it would be appropriate that the appeals are placed  before any other appropriate learned Judge nominated by the learned Chief Justice of Delhi High Court. 

 

Learned counsel for the parties agree that the hearing of the appeals should be taken up on day-to-day basis.   Accordingly, we direct that the appeals pending before the High Court shall be taken up for hearing by another learned Judge, so nominated by the learned Chief Justice.  Court shall hear the appeals on day-to-day basis for whole day. At the conclusion of hearing, judgment in the appeals is expected to be delivered as expeditiously as possible.

 

11.09.2008:                 Sushil Ansal, Gopal Ansal,Ajit Choudhary & N S Chopra surrender in the court of

ASJ Patiala House Courts and taken into custody. 

 

 

22.09.2008:                 Hon’ble Justice Ravinder Bhat commenced the hearing of the appeal afresh.

 

23.10.2008:                 Sushil Ansal & Gopal Ansal approached the Hon’ble Supreme court for bail which was dismissed.

 

17.11.2008:                 Arguments concluded ( Total 26 hearings) and Judgement reserved.

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