A Delhi sessions court on Tuesday dismissed a petition moved by Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy seeking cancellation of the bail of Gopal and Sushil Ansal, owners of the Uphaar theatre, on the ground that they would tamper with evidence if they remained on bail.
Additional Sessions Judge Mamta Sehgal said since the trial had reached its fag end and only one witness the investigating officer had to be examined, it would not be proper to cancel the bail of the Ansals and H S Pawar, former fire officer of Delhi Fire Service, at this stage.
The association had moved the application under section 439(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code after it was found by a court investigation that the Ansals had removed some documents from the court files and some of the cheques issued by them. Fifty-nine persons, including 29 children, lost their lives and 104 injured in the fire that broke out in the cinema hall June 13, 1997.
Shekhar Krishnamurthy, an office bearer of the association, said they would file an appeal in the Delhi high court against the judgment. "We feel that as the trial has reached a crucial stage so it is all the more important that the Ansal brothers should be behind the bars so that they cannot use the money power and tamper with the evidence that goes against them," Krishnamurthy told rediff.com.
Last week the Delhi high court had given a huge relief to the victims to the tune of Rs 21.5 crore. Ansals were asked to pay 55 per cent of the total cost, while the rest of the 45 per cent is to be given by the Delhi Police licensing branch, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Delhi Vidyut Board.