Ram Jethmalani submitted that Gopal Ansal was surviving on charity and that some indulgence be shown to reduce the sentence.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court, on Thursday, refused to entertain a review petition filed by Gopal Ansal for reducing his one-year sentence of imprisonment in the Uphaar Cinema tragedy case, on par with his brother Sushil Ansal, who was let off with the sentence already undergone.
A three-judge bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and A.K. Goel, however, granted time till March 20 to Gopal Ansal to surrender to serve the remaining period of sentence. Gopal was to surrender by Thursday as per the directions issued on February 9.
During a brief hearing, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani submitted that Gopal Ansal was surviving on charity and that some indulgence be shown to reduce the sentence. Senior counsel Harish Salve for the CBI opposed the petition contending that there cannot be a review of an order passed in a review petition.
The bench dismissed Gopal Ansal petition as also the petition filed by the victims, who sought enhancement of the punishment to Sushil Ansal. The bench pointed out that when it was opposing the review plea of Gopal Ansal, it can’t seek to file a review for enhancement. Senior counsel K.T.S. Tulsi said he was not pressing the petition.
In his petition Gopal Ansal sought modification of the order directing him to surrender to serve the remaining period of sentence awarded in the case relating to Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy, in which 59 persons were killed. Gopal wanted the court to apply principle of parity in his case on the ground that he has already spent more in custody than his brother has served.
He wanted the court to extend the time of surrender till it decided his application. He submitted that he was a victim of prejudice “created in high political circles and the media” and reiterated his innocence.
The apex court had recently asked Gopal Ansal to undergo the remaining jail term in the case, while his elder brother Sushil Ansal had got relief with the court let off with the sentence in prison already undergone by him in view of age-related complications.
Gopal said that he was 69 years old and would suffer irreparable damage to his health if he is sent to jail.