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Uphaar Tragedy: Ansal brothers fined Rs 60 crores

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Ansal brothers got a respite from being sent to jail when the Supreme Court gave its verdict charging them with Rs 60 crores. The Ansal brothers- Gopal and Sushil, were found guilty in the Uphaar Cinema Fire Tragedy of 1997. The amount has to be paid in next three months. The court also slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakhs on the concerned fire officer of the theater.

The Supreme Court said that the money would be given to the Delhi government, and it is to be decided later what is to be done with it. Gopal and Sushil were convicted in 2014. Each of the brothers will have to pay a fine of Rs. 30 crores to the Delhi government within three months, the three-judge bench of the apex court said.

Earlier during the hearing, the Court said that the case of the Uphaar fire tragedy can’t be reopened and the hearing will remain focused on the sentencing of Ansal brothers.

Ansals’ lawyer Ram Jethmalani had pleaded before the apex court to argue on facts relating to the brothers’ conviction. The apex court bench, however, asked him to raise it in a review petition later.

On March 5, 2014, the apex court had upheld the conviction of Gopal and Sushil Ansal in 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case. The Supreme Court then transferred the case to a three-judge bench.

indian express
credits: Indian Express

Earlier, the panel of judges had reduced the sentence from two years to one year whereas the victims and the families of the deceased had demanded that the Ansals be convicted under more severe sections.

59 people had died and 100 were injured when a big fire broke out at Uphaar cinema hall in South Delhi, while the film Border was being screened on the evening of June 13, 1997. The fire started in the parking lot, spread and catapulted all over the place and finally engulfed the cinema building- most people died in the subsequent stampede and also due to the asphyxia.

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Rain, Snow To Hit California Due To Pacific Storm

Flash flood watches were to go into effect Thursday morning in those area as well as parts of Orange County.

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California
In this Nov. 22, 2018, photo, two oak trees stand on a rain-soaked, burned-over hillside following the Woolsey Fire in Agoura Hills, California. VOA

California will see widespread rain and heavy Sierra Nevada snowfall through midweek, potentially bringing travel problems and raising the risk of damaging runoff from wildfire burn scars, forecasters said Tuesday.

The wet pattern from a deep atmospheric fetch of Pacific moisture marks a significant change in the weather following conditions that contributed to disastrous and deadly wildfires up and down California, where hundreds of thousands of acres have burned this year.

“This is good news to help minimize that fire activity,” Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said . “But remember that if you are in an area that has seen recent fires this year or latter part of last year it could mean trouble as that soil is much more prone to mudslides and debris flow.”

California, rain
After a brief delay to let a downpour pass, volunteers resume their search for human remains at a mobile home park in Paradise, Calif., Nov. 23, 2018. The team is doing a second search because there are missing people whose last address was the mobile home park. VOA

The National Weather Service said there was a risk of heavy rainfall in northwest California through Tuesday night, then spreading farther south down virtually all of the coastal ranges and some interior sections of the state through Wednesday and Thursday.

Snow accumulations in the Sierra could range from 2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters), the NWS said.

In the Sierra, chain controls were put into effect on Interstate 80 between Kingvale and the Donner Lake interchange, the California Department of Transportation said.

On the coast near Big Sur, Caltrans planned to close a section of Highway 1 between Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide for 48 hours starting Wednesday morning because of potential instability.

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A controlled burn ignites pine trees on the “Rough Fire” — which closed camps east of Fresno at Hume Lake as it crossed Highway 180 — in the Sequoia National Forest in California, Aug. 21, 2015. VOA

The scenic route perched between towering mountainsides and the ocean has been dogged by slides since late 2016. But the one that hit Mud Creek near Ragged Point in May 2017 was monumental. Millions of tons of earth moved, displacing 75 acres (30 hectares) of land and extensive work was required to rebuild the highway over the slide.

Also Read: Climate Change To Get Worse In The Future: Study

Caltrans also warned that chains will be required for travel through the mountains of San Bernardino and Riverside counties east of Los Angeles when the storm arrives there Wednesday evening. Flash flood watches were to go into effect Thursday morning in those area as well as parts of Orange County.

Forecasters also warned of very high surf along the coast. (VOA)