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Sentencing in Uphaar case put off to today

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: With arguments on the quantum of punishment remaining inconclusive on Wednesday, sentencing in the Uphaar fire tragedy case that claimed 59 lives ten years ago was postponed to Thursday. A sessions court here had held all the 12 accused in the case, including the owners of the cinema hall Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal, guilty on Tuesday.

Arguing for Sushil Ansal, his counsel R.K. Naseem told Additional Sessions Judge Mamata Sehgal that his client was convicted due to a media trial. He also sought relief for his client under the Probation of Offenders Act as Sushil Ansal, who along with his brother Gopal Ansal, was convicted of causing death due to negligence, had no criminal background.

Mr. Naseem also argued that as far as his client’s culpability in the criminal negligence was concerned, he was not alone and there were other contributory factors and individuals responsible for the incident.

Gopal Ansal’s counsel Prem Kumar, a former Special CBI Judge, also sought relief for his client on similar grounds. However, his argument remained inconclusive as the court rose for the day.

The arguments on the part of Gopal Ansal would continue on Thursday after which the prosecution would submit its reply and subsequently the court would award the sentences.

As the arguments were going on, one of the convicts, Shyam Sunder Sharma of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, fainted in the court room following which the proceedings were stopped for a while.

The court resumed after his condition improved.

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