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Uphaar case: Ansals' plea rejected

Source: PTI
September 21, 2007 11:38 IST
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The Delhi high court on Friday rejected the plea of Ansal brothers, facing trial in the Uphaar fire tragedy case, to place additional written submissions before the trial court hearing the matter.

"I find no error and infirmity in the judgment of the trial court (which had rejected their plea for submission of additional documents)," Justice S N Dhingra said.

"There is no force in the petition," Justice Dhingra further said, while dimissing the petition of Ansal brothers.

Five accused, including Sushil and Gopal Ansal, had moved the high court on September 17, seeking quashing of the trial court's order of September 5, which had dismissed their plea to file written submissions before the pronouncement of the judgment in the 10-year-old case.

Besides Ansals, three managers of Uphaar cinema hall Ajit Chaudhary, Nirmal Singh Chopra and R K Sharma, in a joint petition, alleged that "the trial court, from time to time, had raised certain queries and sought a few clarifications during the course of final arguments. However, it did not hear petitioners' counsel on those clarifications and fixed the next date of hearing."

The trial court, on August 22, did not accept their written arguments on the ground that the prosecutor was not present and disposed of their application without hearing them, they had alleged.

The trial court is likely to fix on October 22 the date for pronouncement of its verdict in the case of June 13, 1997, fire tragedy, which had claimed 59 lives including children and women during the screening of a Hindi film.

A total of 12 accused, including South Delhi-based Uphaar theatre owners -- Sushil and Gopal Ansal -- have been charged with causing death by negligent act.

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