SC reserves verdict on plea for reviewing Ansals’ sentence
New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its verdict on a plea by the CBI and Association of Victim of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) seeking the review of the order on quantum of punishment to the real estate barons – Gopal and Sushil Ansals – who were convicted for June 13, 1997, Uphaar fire tragedy in which 59 people lost their lives.
The bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel reserved the order on the conclusion of the arguments as counsel for Ansal brothers opposed the plea for the recall of the order contending that order sought to be reviewed was a composite one.
The top court, by its 2015 verdict had enhanced the sentence to two years – the maximum under Indian Penal Code’s Section 304 (Causing death by negligence). But the top court had also let them off by asking the brothers to pay Rs 30 crore each, coupled with the sentence they have already undergone.
The verdict created uproar as Ansal brothers had individually undergone just five to six months imprisonment each.
They were awarded two years sentence by the trial court but the Delhi High Court by its December 19, 2008, verdict had reduced the sentence to one year.
The apex court bench of Justice Anil R. Dave (since retired), Justice Joseph and Justice Goel had pronounced September 22, 2015 verdict on sentencing which was sought to be reviewed on the plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the AVUT.
The matter had travelled to three judges’ bench after bench of the then Justice T.S.Thakur (current CJI) and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra (since retired) by their March 5, 2014 verdict while agreeing on the conviction, differed on the quantum of punishment.
While Justice Thakur sentenced the Ansals to one year imprisonment, Justice Misra enhanced it two years but imposed a fine of Rs 50 crore each for the enhanced year.
She had said that Rs 100 crore that Ansal brothers would pay would be used for setting up a trauma centre in Delhi’s Dwarka area.