‘Uphaar ruling will embolden firms to flout norms for profit’

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The tragedy took place on Friday June 13, 1997 when film ‘Border’ was playing at the theatre in south Delhi’s Green Park area. 59 people had died of asphyxia.

“First, Uphaar happened and so many other fire tragedies since. Recently, SUM Hospital in Odisha was another such case.

Are we making our public places, theatres and hospitals safer? I don’t think any lessons have been learned. And, this judgment will embolden big corporate houses in flouting norms for profit, feeling they can get away,” she said.

The apex court, in a majority 2:1 verdict, asked Gopal Ansal to surrender within four weeks to serve the remaining jail term of the one year punishment.

However, the court gave relief to his elder brother Sushil Ansal considering his advanced age by giving him the jail term already undergone by him, including the remission, in the case.

The majority verdict pronounced by Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Kurian Joseph said that fine of Rs 30 crore each imposed on Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal by the apex court earlier was “not excessive”.

CBI and AVUT had sought review of the apex court verdict, delivered on August 19, 2015, sending Ansal brothers to two years rigorous jail term if they fail to pay Rs 30 crore each within three months. The convicts have already paid the fine.

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