Ansals’ bail plea to be taken up Jan 4


New Delhi : The bail application of real estate tycoons Gopal and Sushil Ansal, who have been convicted in the Uphaar fire tragedy that killed 59 people a decade ago, will be taken up by the Delhi High Court Jan 4.

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Justice H.R. Malhotra gave the ruling after hearing lawyers for the two brothers and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which said that it was not ready to argue the case Wednesday.

Ram Jethmalani and U.R. Lalit, lawyers for Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal respectively, made the submission that the case be taken up on priority. The two brothers’ bail expires Jan 8. The other convicts are in prison.

The court also sought response from the CBI and the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) on an appeal filed by Gopal Ansal, co-owner of the Uphaar cinema hall, challenging his sentencing.

The CBI and AVUT – the latter represents the victims of the fire tragedy – have to file the responses by Jan 4, on which day the court will take up all the appeals against the verdict of the trial court that sentenced the Ansal brothers to two years rigorous imprisonment for negligence leading to the inferno.

Jethmalani sought “special treatment” from the bench. When the judge wanted to know the reason, Jethmalani replied that the Ansals were anyway getting “special treatment” from the media.

The court, however, refused to hear the matter before Jan 4.

Counsel Lalit argued, in apparent reference to AVUT, that the court should not take note of what he described as “some so-called organisations” and challenged their locus standi in the case.