Businessmen Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal have been sentenced to seven years in jail for tampering with evidence linked to a fire in Delhi’s Uphaar theatre in 1997 that killed 59 people. The Ansal brothers who have a big property business were also fined ₹ 2.25 crore each by Delhi’s Patiala House Court.
Both were convicted of tampering with evidence in the case a month ago. The sentencing came today.
The Ansals were earlier jailed for two years by the Supreme Court. Later, they were released and fined ₹ 30 crore each, which would be used to build a trauma care centre in the national capital.
Two other accused in the Uphaar fire tragedy, Har Swaroop Panwar and Dharamvir Malhotra, died trial.
The fire at Uphaar cinema broke out during a screening of the war movie ‘Border’. The fire safety plans of the theatre were not in place, and in the resulting chaos 59 people suffocated to death, while over 100 were injured in a stampede.
The case drew huge attention due to the profile of the property owners, while parents of young people who died in the fire teamed up to pursue the Ansals in court. A long legal battle that swung from allegations of negligence to homicide against the Ansal brothers was fought.
In June last year, amid the pandemic, the Supreme Court had asked the Delhi government about the construction status of a second trauma care centre in Delhi’s Dwarka to be funded by the ₹ 60 crore fine from the Ansal brothers.