The court is a temple, judge is the priest and the court staff are the followers, so if they are involved in the tampering of evidence, then justice cannot be done, argued the counsel for the Association of Victims of Uphar Tragedy (AVUT) before the Delhi High Court on Thursday.
He was opposing the appeals moved by Ansal brothers and one other convicted.
The bench has directed the petitioners to file rejoinder and listed the matter on January 25 and January 27, 2022.
The counsel for AVUT, Vikas Pahwa argued before the bench of justice S. Prasad that the businessmen Sushil and Gopal Ansal are convicted in a tampering with evidence case. Therefore their sentence should not be suspended during the pendency of their appeals because the tempered with the evidence which is the precondition for granting bail.
He further argued that their bail was earlier cancelled. There is a third FIR against Sushil Ansal in a passport case. He allegedly provided wrong information to the passport officials that he had no case against him.Pahwa added Ansals are habitual of providing wrong and false information, filing false affidavits.
Vikas Pahwa argued their old age is no criteria for relief as there are numbers of old age convicted who are in jails. Besides, if there is any medical issue, the jail authorities will look into it. They had a unique modus operandi of tampering with evidence in connivance with court staff Dinesh Chand Sharma. In the light of these facts their sentence should not be suspended.
Businessmen Gopal Ansal, Sushil Ansal and one other moved the Delhi High Court against the order of Session Court. The sessions court had not suspended their sentence.
Earlier they moved Sessions Court against recent Magistrate Court order convicting and sentencing them to 7 years jail for tampering with evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Court on November 8 had sentenced Sushil and Gopal Ansal to seven-year imprisonment and imposed Rs 2.25-crore fine each for tampering with evidence.
Additional Session Judge Anil Antil had dismissed their application for suspension of sentence. Gopal Ansal, Sushil Ansal and one PP Batra had appealed against the conviction.
CMM Dr Pankaj Sharma sentenced seven years jail terms to convict businessmen Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal and three others in the case related to tampering with the crucial evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case. The court also ordered to take them into custody.
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court while passing the order also said, "After thinking over it nights and nights, I have come to the conclusion that they deserve punishment."
In the matter, Court had earlier convicted businessmen Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal along with their two employees among others in the case related to tampering with the crucial evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case. The Court had found all accused guilty under sections 409, 201, 120B of IPC and pronounced the order.
Along with Ansal brothers, a court staff Dinesh Chand Sharma and other individuals PP Batra, Har Swaroop Panwar, Anoop Singh, and Dharamvir Malhotra were booked in the tampering of evidence case.
Out of seven accused, two accused Har Swaroop Panwar and Dharamvir Malhotra died during the course of the trial.
At least 59 people died of asphyxia and over 100 others were injured in the stampede after fire broke out in Uphaar cinema on June 13, 1997, during the screening of JP Dutta's film 'Border'. (ANI)