New Delhi: Real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal on Thursday surrendered before a Delhi court in compliance with the Supreme Court order cancelling their bail in the Uphaar fire tragedy case, which claimed 59 lives.
Minutes after the surrender, Shekhar Krishnamurthy who lost his son and daughter in the fire, told CNN-IBN, “I think the justice has been done. I was really frustrated to see them (Ansals) walk free. Today we are really satisfied.”
Ansal brothers surrendered before Additional Sessions Judge IK Kochhar at the Patiala House district courts. Two managers of the Uphaar theatre, Ajit Chowdhary and Nirmal Chopra, also surrendered before the court.
FIRE TRAGEDY: Fifty-nine cinegoers were killed in the blaze in Uphaar theatre in 1997. (IBN)
All four accused were directed by the apex Court to surrender before the trial court by 1600 hours IST on Thursday.
An apex court bench comprising Justices BN Agrawal and G Singhvi had ordered their arrest after cancelling their bail.
The apex court while cancelling the bail of the convicts had taken a strong exception to the alleged tampering of the judicial records by the accused persons.
The bail of the convicts were cancelled on a petition filed by Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) challenging the order of the Delhi High Court.
The trial court on November 20, 2007 had convicted the Ansal brothers along with three others under Section 304-A IPC (causing death due to rash and negligent act) and had sentenced them to two years imprisonment.
Seven others including Ajit Chowdhary and Nirmal Chopra were convicted under Section 304 IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Others convicted under section 304 IPC were – Radha Krishan Sharma, Manmohan Unniyal (cinema's gatekeeper), Brij Mohan Satija, A K Gera and Bir Singh (all DVB officials).
The other three convicts – SS Sharma and N D Tiwari of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and HS Panwar of Delhi Fire Service – were also granted two years term as the offences were similar to that of the Ansal brothers.
Fifty-nine cinegoers were killed in the blaze in the theatre on June 13, 1997 during the screening of Hindi blockbuster Border.
The High Court had granted bail to the Ansal brothers and two other accused on January 4.
(With PTI inputs)