New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Patiala House Court in Delhi on Monday awarded 7-year jail terms to real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal for allegedly tampering with evidence in connection with the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case in which 59 people lost their lives. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 2.25 crore each of the Ansal brothers.

Besides the Ansal brother, the Delhi court also awarded 7-year-jail term each to former court staff Dinesh Chand Sharma and two others -- PP Batra and Anoop Singh and a fine of Rs 3 lakh each on the them.

"It is a long case. Very hard to reach a decision given the complexities involved. After thinking for night after night. Court thinks accused deserve punishment. They will serve 7 years of jail time and Rs 2.25 Crore fine each on the Ansals," the court said, as reported by Bar and Bench.

The case is related to tampering with the evidence in the main fire tragedy case in which the Ansals were convicted and sentenced to 2-year jail term by the Supreme Court.

The apex court, however, released them taking into account the prison time they had done on the condition that they pay Rs 30 crore fine each, to be used for building a trauma centre in the national capital.

On June 13, 1997, a fire had broken out at the theatre during the screening of Bollywood film 'Border', killing 59 people and injuring over 100.

A magisterial court had on May 31, 2014 ordered framing of charges against seven accused for abatement of offence, causing disappearance of evidence, criminal breach of trust by public servant and criminal conspiracy under the IPC.

Theatre owners Gopal Ansal and his brother Sushil Ansal, Anoop Singh, Prem Prakash Batra, Harswaroop Panwar, Dharamveer Malhotra and Dinesh Chandra Sharma were accused of tampering with evidence in the case, pending since 2006.

All the accused, however, have denied the allegations against them.

With PTI inputs

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma