THE AGE FACTOR IN THE UPHAAR VERDICT

Even while enhancing their sentence to two years of rigorous imprisonment, the Supreme Court has permitted the convicted Ansal brothers to get away without serving any further time in jail by paying a penalty of 30 crores each. By that logic, Om Prakash Chautala who is 80 years old, (and older than either of the Ansal brothers), need not have been sentenced to a jail term of ten years. Similarly, Sahara chief Subroto Roy, at 67, would seem to be unjustly incarcerated since March 4, 2014. After all, both Chautala and Roy are behind bars for economic offences, and not for having killed anyone. On the other hand, the Ansals are convicted of having been responsible for the deaths of 59 innocent people, but have been permitted to pay for their freedom with blood money.

Did the Supreme Court have no thought for the 23 victims of the Uphaar tragedy who were minors on that fateful day when their lives were snuffed out cruelly? Baby Chetna was only a month old, while my daughter Unnati and son Ujjwal were only 17 & 13 years old respectively, when their lives were brought to an end by those convicted in the Uphaar tragedy.

Incidentally, both Unnati and Ujjwal were born in the month of August, Unnati on the 30th (yesterday) and Ujjwal on the 13th. Had their lives not been cut short so cruelly, they would have been 36 and 32 years old this month.

Neelam Krishnamoorthy