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Ansals surrender in Uphaar fire case, get bail

Source: PTI
Last updated on: April 23, 2010 11:58 IST
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A Delhi court on Friday granted bail to Uphaar theatre owners Sushil and Gopal Ansal after they surrendered before it in a case of destruction of evidence relating to the 1997 fire tragedy that claimed 59 lives.

Metropolitan magistrate Geetanjali Goel asked the Ansal brothers to furnish a personal and surety bond of Rs 1 lakh as a pre-condition for their release on bail.

Besides Ansals, four other accused -- H S Panwar, Anup Singh, Dharamveer Malhotra and Prem Prakash Batra – also surrendered in court and were granted bail on furnishing a personal and surety bond of like amount.

Dinesh Chandra Sharma, a sacked record keeper of the court who had allegedly helped the Ansals in destroying crucial judicial documents, is already out on bail in the case.

The court has now fixed the matter for supplying the copy of the chargesheet and other documents to the Ansals and others on May 17, the next date of the hearing.

The police had in 2008 filed a new chargesheet before the court against the Ansal brothers for tampering with judicial records of the fire in the south Delhi cinema theatre.

The documents said to have been tampered with included a police memo giving details of recoveries immediately after the incident, Delhi Fire Service records pertaining to repair of the transformer installed inside Uphaar, minutes of the managing director's meetings and four cheques, the chargesheet said.

Out of the six set of documents, a cheque of Rs 50 lakh issued by Sushil Ansal to himself, and minutes of the MD's meetings, prove beyond doubt that the two brothers were handling the day-to-day affairs of the theatre at the relevant time, it said.

The Ansal brothers had argued that they were not handling the affairs of the theatre as they had already resigned from the board of directors of M/s Ansal Theatres and Clubotels Pvt Limited, which owned the cinema hall.

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