The Delhi high court on Tuesday sought response from the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Association of Victims of the Uphaar Tragedy on a petition filed by Sushil Ansal, one of the 12 convicts, challenging the trial court's verdict in the Uphaar fire tragedy case.
Justice S N Dhingra, posted the matter to January 2 for further hearing. The court expressed its inability to hear the case any earlier, as the CBI had requested. "I have no problems in hearing the case but it could be possible only after the vacation. I have many judgments to pronounce. I can hear the matter on the opening day of the vacation," Justice Dhingra said.
A Delhi court had on November 23 sentenced Sushil Ansal along with his brother Gopal -- the owners of Uphaar cinema hall -- to two-year jail term for causing death by negligent act.
The Ansal brothers have been granted bail. Seven other convicts -- Radha Krishan Sharma, N S Chopra, Ajit Chowdhary (Uphaar managers), Manmohan Unniyal (cinema's gatekeeper), Brij Mohan Satija, A K Gera and Bir Singh (all DVB officials) -- held guilty for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, were awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment.
The other three, convicted for offences similar to that of Ansal brothers, were given two years jail term each but were granted bail.
A devastating blaze at Uphaar Cinema on June 13, 1997, had left 59 people dead due to asphyxia and over 100 others injured in a subsequent stampede.