Free Press Journal

Uphaar fire: Court orders framing of charges in evidence case

FOLLOW US:

New Delhi: A court here Saturday ordered framing of charges against real estate barons, Ansal brothers Sushil and Gopal, and five others in a case of alleged tampering with evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal ordered framing of charges against the seven accused under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code including 109 (abetment of offence), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

The court fixed the case for further hearing on Oct 9.


Theatre owners Gopal Ansal, his brother Sushil Ansal, Anoop Singh, Prem Prakash Batra, Harswaroop Panwar, Dharamveer Malhotra as well as a court employee, Dinesh Chandra Sharma are accused of tampering with evidence in the case, pending since 2006.

On June 13, 1997, when the Hindi film “Border” was being screened, a fire engulfed the theatre, killing 59 people and injuring over 100. The fire was sparked by a blast in a transformer in an underground parking lot in the five-storey building which housed the cinema hall and several offices.

A court on Jan 31, 2003 ordered an inquiry after some documents related to the Uphaar case went missing from the court record room. After an inquiry, the judge dismissed a court employee.

The Delhi High Court had on Aug 26 last year ordered police to register a case for alleged tampering with evidence on May 5, 2006 and ordered it to complete the investigations in three months.