SC declines CBI plea for further arguments in Uphaar case

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday declined the CBI’s plea to put forward its arguments on the period of sentence for Ansal brothers – Sushil and Gopal – following their conviction for negligence in 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy which claimed 59 lives.

“We have already passed the order. You must understand. It will not be proper,” said a bench of Justice Anil R. Dave, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel as senior counsel Harish Salve sought just 15 minutes time to put forth his arguments backing the Central Bureau of Investigation’s plea.

Salve wanted to place before the court the arguments which the agency has yet to address to the court. But the court was unmoved and asked Salve to file a review petition.

Salve, appearing for the CBI, had told the apex court on Wednesday just before the court was rising for lunch break that the investigating agency would press for the enforcement of the remainder of one year sentence imposed by the high court and for its enhancement.

Telling the court that he had been doing this case without charging fee since 2000, Salve said: “I have been doing this case pro-bono since 2000. Please grant us 15 minutes time.”

The apex court on Wednesday imposed a fine of Rs.30 crores on each of the two brothers with a breather that they will not have to return to Tihar Jail to serve the remainder of their one year prison term.

The matter was heard by the three judge bench after a bench of Justice T.S.Thakur and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra (since retired) on March 5, 2014, while upholding the Ansals’ conviction, took a divergent position on sentencing.

The trial court had on November 20, 2007 sentenced the Ansal brothers to two years’ imprisonment but it was reduced to one year by the high court in 2008.

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