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Uphaar Tragedy: SC Says No Jail for Ansals, Just 60 Crore Fine

The Ansal brothers convicted in Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy, need not go to jail, said the Supreme Court.

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Neelam Krishnamurthy had survived the Uphaar fire tragedy in 1997, which claimed 59 lives (Screen Grab: ANI)

The Ansal brothers, Sushil and Gopal, convicted in 1997 Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy, need not go to jail, said the Supreme Court. The court has asked the Ansals to pay Rs 30 crore each within three months.

The collective penalty of Rs 60 crore will be paid within the next three months and then utilised by the Delhi government.

The court said that the case of their conviction cannot be reopened and Wednesday’s hearing will remain focussed on their sentencing, reported rediff.com.

The matter is being heard by a three-judge bench, where noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani had pleaded before the apex court to argue on facts relating to Ansals’ conviction.

A total of 59 people died and 100 were injured when there was a huge fire at Uphaar cinema hall, in the heart of south Delhi. A film was being screened on the evening of June 13, 1997 when the incident took place. The fire started in the parking lot and then spread in the building located in Green Park. Most people died in the ensuing stampede or due to asphyxiation.

In 2011, the Supreme Court had reduced the compensation for the deceased who were below 20 years from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh. For those above 20 years who had died in the fire, their families would get Rs 10 lakh from Rs 18 lakh that was decided earlier, while the compensation for the injured remained Rs 1 lakh.

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