Former civic employee granted bail in Uphaar case


New Delhi : N.D. Tiwari, a former Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) employee, was Tuesday granted bail by the Delhi High Court in the case related to the Uphaar fire tragedy that claimed 59 innocent lives 10 years ago.

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Justice H.R. Malhotra granted bail to Tiwari, stating that the sections under which he was booked were similar to those applied to the Ansal brothers, the owners of the cinema house in south Delhi.

“His offence is no different from other four people to whom bail had been granted, so I grant him bail on the similar grounds,” Justice Malhotra said.

Tiwari had approached the high court, challenging his conviction by the trial court.

He was held guilty under Section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) by a city court last year and sentenced to two years’ jail term.

The high court last week granted bail to real estate tycoons Sushil and Gopal Ansal and two others.

The Ansal brothers as well as Shyam Sunder Sharma, who was with the MCD at the time of the accident, and H.S. Panwar, who was divisional officer with the Delhi Fire Service, were asked to furnish a personal bond and a surety of Rs.50,000 each.

A day-to-day hearing of the case will begin from Feb 15.

The four people were Nov 23 awarded a two-year jail term for causing death by their negligent act.

Seven others, Radha Krishan Sharma, N.S. Chopra, Ajit Chowdhary (Uphaar managers), Manmohan Unniyal (the cinema’s gatekeeper), Brij Mohan Satija, A.K. Gera and Vir Singh (Delhi Vidyut Board officials), were held guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and awarded seven years’ rigorous imprisonment.

As many as 59 people had died while over 100 were injured in a stampede following a devastating blaze in the Uphaar cinema June 13, 1997.