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Upahar evidence matter: Court dismisses Ansal brothers plea of 'Suspension of sentence'

ANI | Updated: Dec 03, 2021 17:23 IST

New Delhi [India], November 3 (ANI): The Patiala House Court's Sessions Judge on Friday dismissed the petition of Businessmen Ansal Brothers and three other persons sought suspension of sentence in tampering with evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case during the pendency of their appeal.
The Additional Session Judge Anil Antil on Friday refused to grant suspension of sentence of all accused, presently lodged in Tihar jail. The court fixed the date February 23, 2022, for a hearing on appeals.
The Businessmen Sushil Ansal, Gopal Ansal and others have recently moved Session Court against Magistrate Court's order convicting and sentencing them to 7 years jail for tampering with evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case.
Earlier Delhi Police has strongly opposed the appeal of Ansal Brothers and others seeking suspension of sentence and said it will trigger the mental trauma and agony of victims.
Last week, during the argument on appeal of convicts, the prosecution led by Advocate A.T. Ansari argued before the session court that the suspension of the sentence just after 15 days of incarceration in an offence of such magnitude will not only be tantamount the travesty of justice but it will also trigger the mental trauma and agony, the victim of Uphaar Tragedy made to suffer during the already long-drawn battle of 24 years.

Advocate Ansari further argued that the scheme of law and procedure does not warrant that the convicts, awarded punishment, should not be made to undergo incarceration until their conviction is confirmed by the Apex court of the country.
Flagging the evidence of CDRs, Handwriting Expert Report and the relevancy of Cheques issued by Ansal brothers and minutes of MDs conference etc, which were tempered with, Ansari further argued that prosecution is armed with more than overwhelming evidence to sustain the conviction and the sentence awarded to the Ansal brothers.
The Association of Victim of Upahar Tragedy (AVUT) last week also opposed the Businessmen Ansal brothers and others' application for suspension of sentence primarily on the ground of the gravity of the offence.
Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa appeared for AVUT also submitted that the offence of tampering is extremely serious in nature, as it affects the entire criminal justice system. It is direct interference in the administration of justice and thus requires serious consideration while Suspending the sentence of seven years and a fine of 2.25 Crores.
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate recently in judgement imposed a fine of Rs 2.25 Crores against Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal each in the matter. The court while passing the order also said "After thinking over nights and nights, I have come to the conclusion that they deserve punishment.
The Court had found all accused guilty under sections 409, 201, 120B of IPC and pronounced the order. Along with the Ansal brothers, a court staff Dinesh Chand Sharma and other individuals PP Batra, Har Swaroop Panwar, Anoop Singh, and Dharamvir Malhotra were booked in the tampering of evidence case.
Out of seven accused, two accused Har Swaroop Panwar and Dharamvir Malhotra died during the course of the trial. At least 59 people died of asphyxia and over 100 others were injured in the stampede after fire broke out in Uphaar cinema on June 13, 1997, during the screening of JP Dutta's film 'Border'. (ANI)