The Association of the victims of uphaar tragedy (AVUT) filed a civil writ petition on 28th July 1997 in the Hon ‘ble Supreme Court against 40 respondents which includes Sushil Ansal,Gopal Ansal,companies share holders,staff of uphaar cinema & various government agencies , but the same was refered to delhi high court. the main prayer in writ of the association is as under:
- Direct the Union of INDIA to ensure that no cinema hall in the country is allowed to run without LICENCE GRANTED after strictly observing all the mandatory conditions prescribed under the law
- To award punitive damages against the Respondents to pay sum of Rs 100 crores jointly or severally to AVUT for the purposes of setting up and augmenting the centralised accident and trauma services and other allied services in the city of Delhi under the supervision of the hon’ble delhi high court.
- To award damages against the Respondents jointly or severally to all the victims who lost their lives a sum of Rs 11.8 Crores with the directions to equally distribute the same to the first degree heirs of all the victims.
- Award damages against all the respondents jointly or severally to the tune OF RS 10.3 crores to the injured to be distributed evenly or as may be considered just and proper by the hon’ble court.
28. 07.1997: Civil Writ filed by AVUT in Supreme Court
17. 10 1997: Case referred to Delhi High Court as the matter related to the parties coming under NCT of Delhi.
29. 02 2000: The Writ filed by AVUT is maintained.
17.08.2001: The Hon.ble Supreme Court of India rejected special Leave Petition No. 10288/2000 filed by Green Park Theatre Associates. against the maintainability order of Hon’ble Delhi High Court with following observation:
“Considering the nature of the order passed by the High Court and
the arguments addressed before us, we do not think, there is any
justification for us to interfere with the order made by the High Court.”
17.09.2001: Special bench constituted (Justice S.K. Mahajan and Justice Mukul Mudgal)
30.09.2002: The matter was being heard on day-to-day basis
24.04.2003: The Judgment was pronounced by the Hon,ble Justice S K Mahajan and Hon,ble Justice Mukul Mudgal. The salient features of the order are as follows:
The total compensation amount awarded was Rs 18.5 crores of which Rs 2.5 crores to be paid by Ansal Theatre & Clubotels (P) Ltd to Union Of India towards setting up of trauma centre in Delhi. . Of the balance amount the apportionment is as follows:
55% to be paid by Ansal Theatre & Clubotels (P) Ltd which owns Uphaar Cinema.
15% each to be paid by Delhi Vidyut Board, Deputy commissioner Police (Licensing) & Municipal Corporation of Department.
Rs 15,00,000 + 9% interest from the date of filing of the writ to the deceased below the age group of 20 yrs
Rs 18,00,000 + 9% interest from the date of filing of the writ to the deceased above the age group of 20 yrs
Rs 1,00,000 for Injured
Rs 2,50,00,000 to be paid by Ansals as Punitive damages to the Union of India for the purposes of Trauma Centre.
8.09. 2003: The DCP (Lic) & MCD file Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court and the leave is granted to them.
28.11.2003: Ansal Theatre & Clubotels (P) Ltd file Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court and the Apex court has issued notices.
11.10.2004: Hon’ble Supreme Court passed the following directions:
That the appellants shall, within a period of one month from today, deposit an amount of Rs.3,01,40,000/- (Rupees three crores one lakh & forty thousand) with the High Court.
That for the purpose of arranging the funds, the appellant shall be at liberty to offer the cinema building as security and raise money from the financial institutions.
That, other than offering the property as security for the purpose of raising the amount as aforesaid, the appellants shall not create any other encumbrance or any other third party interest in the cinema building.
That the order of the criminal court as to the sealing of the property and maintaining the same intact till the criminal trial is over, shall be meticulously observed.
That on amount being deposited, 50% of the amount deposited by the appellants shall be available for distribution to the claimants rateably. The balance amount shall be invested with a nationalised bank so as to be available for distribution consistently with the final decision of this court.
24.11.2009: The Appeals filed by Ansals ,MCD & DCP(Lic) came up for hearing
in front of Hon’ble Justice Raveendran & Hon’ble Justice Radhakrishnan.
The bench passed an order with following observation:
“The learned counsel for the Municipal corporation seeks
accommodation till tomorrow for further arguments in the
We find from the interim order dated 11.10.2004
that this court had directed the cinema theatre
owners to deposit into court 50% of the 55% compensation
payable by them as per the judgment of the High court
namely, Rs.3,0,1,40,000/-(Rupees three crores one lakh
forty thousand), and further directed that out of the
said amount to be deposited, 50% should be distributed
to the claimants rateably and remaining 50% shall be
invested with the nationalized bank so as to available
for further disbursement. We find that when the said
order for deposit was made, the court had proposed
to dispose of the matter immediately on the SLP
paper books. But thereafter the matter has been pending for
five years.There is no justification for denying the victims
payment of least that part of the compensation which has been
deposited by the theatre owners in the court and
invested in bank. Though there is a challenge to the
quantum of the compensation that has been awarded,
it cannot seriously be disputed that the amount deposited
being less than 25% of what would be due as per the
decision of High Court(compensation plus interest),
the same can be disbursed.Therefore, without prejudice
to the contentions of the parties we are of the view
that the entire amount deposited by the theatre owner
should bedisbursed. We, therefore, modify the order
dated 11.10.2004 with a direction to disbursethe
remaining 50% of Rs.3,01,40,000/- which is kept
in deposit with the accrued interest on the deposit,
on pro rata basis among the claimants that is families
of 59 persons who died in the accident and 103,
were injured in the accident.We are informed that
even the 50% initially ordered on 11.10.2004 to be
distributed has not been distributed among
all the victims yet as the process
of verification is yet to be completed.The reason for the
delay is stated to be the non-availability of the records
which have been sent to this court. The counsel for the
Association of Uphaar Tragedy Victims may furnish
copies of the relevant papers to the Registrar of the
High Court in charge of disbursement. The theatre
owners and the police may also assist the Registrar in the
verification and disbursement process. The High Court
Registry should endeavour to complete the process of
disbursement as per the order dated 11.10.2004 and
also make the further pro rata distribution of the
remaining 50% and interest thereon, as per this order,
within a period of two months.
In the meanwhile the cinema theatre owners shall
further deposit the interest on Rs.3,01,40,000/-
(Rupees Three crores one lakh forty thousand)
from 14.7.1997 to the the date of deposit @
9% per annum before the High Court
within two months. Permission is granted to offer
the cinema theatre building as security for raising the said
The record of the S.D.M.if it has been received
in this court may be made available to the
High Court Registry to complete the process of
List for further hearing tomorrow.”
16.12.2009: The Judgement was reserved with following
order from the court:
“Ms. Indra Jaising, learned ASG appearing for theLicensing Authority/
Central Government submitted that the Ministry of Home Affairs had
deposited a sum of Rs.2.14 crores in pursuance of the judgment of
the Delhi High Court subject to the outcome in these appeals; that
the Central Government has instructed her that the said sum may be
disbursed ex-gratia to the victims of the Uphaar tragedy pro rata
subject to the following conditions:-
(i) that there is no admission of liability against the Commissioner
(ii) that the judgment will not be treated as a
precedent insofar as the liability of Licensing Authority; and
(iii) that the amount may be distributed to the victims as a gesture
of goodwill. Mr. A.K. Ganguli, learned senior counsel appearing for the
appellant in C.A. No.6748 of 2004 (Ansals Theatres and Clubotels
Pvt.Ltd.) submitted that the theatre owners would
voluntarily deposit a sum of rupees three crores
with the Registrar General, High Court of Delhi
for being disbursed to the victims of Uphaar tragedy
and the said payment would be made irrespective
of the result of the present proceedings.
Mr. K.T.S. Tulsi, learned senior counsel appearing for
the Association of Victims of Uphaar tragedy
submits that the families of victims are not interested
in accepting any payment from the theatre owners either as
charity or ex-gratia and they will receive from the
theatre owners only compensation in accordance with
any direction of the Court.
On 24/11/2009, before the arguments commenced,
we had directed that without prejudice to the rights of
the parties,the amount already deposited by
the theater owners should be distributed pro rata
among the victims after completing the process of verification.
We direct the Registrar General, High Court of Delhi,
that in addition to amount ordered to be disbursed
in terms of the order dated 24/11/2009, the amount that
is deposited by the Ministry of Home Affairs (Licensing Authority)
as also a sum of rupees three crores which the theatre
owners have agreed to deposit as per memo filed
today may also be disbursed pro rata.It is made clear
that the amounts will be received by the victims
without prejudice towards the amounts that may be
ultimately found due to them.
For expediting the process of disbursal, we direct the Registrar
General,High Court of Delhi to apportion the amounts in the
(i) one unit to each injured, (ii) eighteen units to the
families of each adult who died in the accident and (iii) fifteen units
for the families of persons below 20 years who died in the accident.
This means that total amount available “for distribution shall be
disbursed in the following ratio:
(i) The family of each adult who died : 18/1096
(ii) The family of each deceased (less than
20 years) (23 cases) : 15/1096
(iii) Each injured : 1/1096
Mr. P.P. Malhotra, learned senior counsel appearing for the
Delhi Vidyut Board submitted that whatever amounts that has been
paid by them is without prejudice to its right to claim the same
against the theatre owners.