NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to show any leniency towards real estate baron Gopal Ansal on his plea in which he claimed parity with his elder brother Sushil Ansal and asked to surrender to serve the remaining period of the one year sentence in the Uphaar fire tragedy case.
A three judge bench, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, dismissed the appeal filed by Gopal Ansal.
However, the bench granted him a week more to surrender to police till March 20 to serve the remaining sentence.
During an intense emotional hearing, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani appearing on behalf of Ansals said, “I deserve hearing on the ground of humanity and law. I am almost a dead person. I am living on people's help and charity. Soon after the incident, cinema hall was shut and we have to live on the mercy of others.”
“I have suffered more than my brother in this case. I am not saying he has suffered less but I am also of an advancing age, “Jethmalani said, adding Gopal Ansal was in jail earlier for around four-and-a-half months.
The bench looked unconvinced and said, “These arguments hold no ground now. We have already passed the judgment in the case.”
Last month, the apex court in a 2:1 majority verdict had granted relief to 76-year-old Sushil Ansal considering age-related complications by awarding him jail term already undergone and had asked Gopal to surrender in four weeks to serve the remaining jail term.
Seeking parity, Gopal too approached the apex court saying he was 69-years-old and would suffer irreparable damage to his health if sent to prison.
59 persons had died in the Uphaar cinema during the screening of Hindi movie 'Border' on June 13, 1997 and over 1,000 people were injured.