The Delhi High Court today upheld a trial court's order convicting real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal for the Uphaar fire tragedy which killed 59 cinegoers in 1997.
However, the High Court reduced the jail term of Ansal brothers, who own the cinema hall, from two to one year.
Justice S Ravinder Bhat who pronounced the verdict in a jam-packed court rejected the plea of the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) to enhance the jail term awarded to the Ansal brothers and other convicts awarded a punishment less than the cinema owners.
The High Court also upheld the conviction of four accused H S Panwar (Delhi Fire Service Staff), Brij Mohan Satija, Bir Singh (both DVB officials) and Manmoham Unniyal (gatekeeper of the cinema hall) but reduced their jail terms.
While jail terms of Satija, Singh and Unniyal were reduced from seven years to two years, Panwar's sentence was reduced from two to one year. The five other accused -- Radhakrishan Sharma, N S Chopra, (both Uphaar cinema managers), A K Ghera (DVB official), S S Sharma and N D Tiwari (both MCD officials) -- were acquitted by the High Court.
Another cinema manager, Ajit Chowdhary, who was sentenced to seven years had died recently in Tihar jail. The proceedings against him was abated.