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Uphaar fire: Ansal apologises, victims' family says sorry not enough

CNN-IBN
Oct 04, 2012 at 05:04pm IST

New Delhi: Uphaar cinema owner Sushil Ansal on Thursday apologised to the family members of the victims killed in the 1997 fire tragedy in the hall. Ansal apologised for the fire tragedy which resulted in the death of 59 people and said that he was willing to construct a trauma centre for the public.

The apology was issued on a petition moved by Neelam Krishnamurthy, the mother of two children who died in the tragedy. But when the Supreme Court asked Neelam if the apology was enough, she said no pointing out that she had lost her children in the fire tragedy. Neelam had approached the apex court for enhancement of the punishment given to Ansals.

The Supreme Court had in October 2011 slashed the compensation awarded to the victims of the tragedy. Compensation to the families of deceased older than 20 years had been cut from Rs 18 lakh to Rs 10 lakh each, while for those below 20 years of age, compensation has been reduced from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh.

The apex court said that that the responsibility lay with the Ansals and the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB). The Ansals were told to pay 85 per cent of the compensation, while the DVB would have to pay 15 per cent of the compensation.

The punitive damages imposed by the Delhi High Court on Ansals was also reduced from Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 25 lakh. The apex court also ruled that the MCD and Delhi Police, the licencing authority, cannot be held responsible for the tragedy.

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