The Apex Court bench of Justice TS Thakur and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra referred the matter of quantum of sentence to a three-judge bench as both of them differed on the question of sentencing.

Upholding the Delhi High Court’s verdict, Justice Thakur said that both Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal would undergo a sentence of one year each as awarded by the High Court.

The Supreme Court observed that the Ansal brothers were more concerned about making money than ensuring safety of cinemagoers. The Apex Court also said that it was a contemptuous disregard to law by owners of Uphaar cinema hall that led to loss of lives.

The trial court had awarded the Ansal brothers two years' imprisonment but it was reduced to one year by the High Court in 2008.

Justice Misra, holding that the Ansals should undergo a sentence of two years, substituted the second year sentence with a fine of Rs 100 crore divided equally between the two brothers.

She also directed that, in view of his advanced age, Sushil Ansal's period of sentence will be one that he has already undergone.

JPN/Agencies

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