Uphaar case: Gopal Ansal fails to get immediate relief in SC

Real estate baron Gopal Ansal today failed to get any immediate relief from the Supreme Court which fixed for March 3 his plea .

Published: 28th February 2017 07:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2017 07:46 PM   |  A+A-

File Photo of the Supreme Court premises. | PTI


NEW DELHI: Real estate baron Gopal Ansal today failed to get any immediate relief from the Supreme Court which fixed for March 3 his plea seeking that he, like his elder brother Sushil Ansal, be not jailed to serve remaining sentence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case.   

 A bench, by a 2:1 majority verdict delivered on February 9, had given relief to 76-year-old Sushil considering his "advanced age-related complications" by awarding him the jail term already undergone and asked younger sibling Gopal to surrender in four weeks to serve remaining one year jail term in the 20-year-old case.     

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani mentioned the fresh plea for urgent hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar and also sought an interim relief that Gopal be granted one extra week to surrender in jail.     

"You (Jethmalani) will have to wait. It has to be heard by the same bench, if it is existing, which had heard the review. We can put it for Friday if there is no objection," the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said.     

When Jethmalani said that he was willing to argue before any bench, the court said, "There is a system of allocation of benches. We will try our best."     

The period of sentence already undergone should be enough for Gopal also and he be awarded the jail term already undergone, Jethmalani said, adding moreover, the convict also suffered from advanced age-related ailments like his elder brother and should not to be sent to prison.   

 The convict has also paid Rs 30 crore in fine, he said.

Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, appearing for the Association for Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) led by Neelam Krishnamoorthy, opposed the plea, saying the review pleas of the CBI and the association have already been decided and "there cannot be a review of the review judgement".     

Lawyer Aparajita Singh, appearing for the CBI, said the remedy available to the convict was to file a curative plea and no fresh application can be filed in a decided review petition.     

When the court fixed the plea for hearing on March 3, Singh said that senior advocate Harish Salve represents the CBI in the matter and he will not available on Friday.     

On the date fixed, the bench concerned, at best, will only issue notice, the court said.     

59 persons had died of asphyxia in the Uphaar cinema during the screening of Hindi movie 'Border' on June 13, 1997.

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