Uphaar Fire Tragedy: Gopal Ansal Surrenders, To Serve Jail Term

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Uphaar Fire Tragedy: Gopal Ansal Surrenders, To Serve Jail Term

Uphaar fire case: Gopal Ansal, who got a one-year jail term, has surrendered.

New Delhi:  Twenty years after the Uphaar fire tragedy, which killed 59 people at the cinema hall in posh South Delhi, real estate baron Gopal Ansal, 67, surrendered in court to undergo jail term in the case.  The younger Ansal, who had been handed a one-year sentence, surrendered as the deadline handed by the Supreme Court practically ended and all his efforts to get a reprieve failed. Earlier today, the 67-year-old had said he had asked for a pardon from President Pranab Mukherjee and the court should give him time till the reply comes. The court had turned down the plea.

Like his elder brother Sushil Anasal, Gopal Ansal - the builders of the theatre -- had been convicted for criminal negligence that led to the loss of lives. But while 77-year-old Sushil Ansal was spared a a jail term in view of his age, Gopal Ansal had been given a one-year sentence. He has to serve around seven months, since he has served around 4 months as an undertrial.

Since the Supreme Court upheld his jail term in February and gave him a month's time to surrender, Gopal Ansal has filed a number of petitions, saying his jail sentence should be waived. He has cited his age and claimed he suffered from delicate heath. The tycoon even said he lived on charity - a claim the Central Bureau of Investigation, which was probing the case, had treated with scorn.

The Supreme Court -- whose decision to let off Sushil Ansal has already been criticised by the families of those who died -- dismissed the petition.

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