Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) on Tuesday concluded its argument on appeals by the convicts in the Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy case, submitting that the then Deputy Commissioner of Police (Licensing) should be summoned as an accused to face trial as he had illegally allowed the hall owners to add as many as 37 seats in the balcony.

Arguing for the Association, K.T.S. Tulsi submitted that while convicting the accused in the case in May this year the trial court had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the charge against the DCP but the investigating agency had so far done nothing.

Mr. Tulsi submitted that the DCP had allowed addition of the seats in the balcony contrary to what he had submitted before the Delhi High Court in an affidavit in connection with the addition of extra seats in the balcony and despite the withdrawal of a notification by the then Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi allowing the cinema owners to add more seats in the hall.

The investigating agency and the Ansal brothers -- Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal -- have already concluded arguments on the appeals. The CBI sought prosecution of the Ansal brothers for culpable homicide not amounting to murder charge while counsel for the two brothers had argued that their clients had no liability for the tragedy because it had occurred due to the fire in the transformers installed by the Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking in the basement of the building.

As many as 59 persons, including women and children, were suffocated to death in the fire tragedy while watching the matinee show of Hindi film “Border” on June 13, 1997.