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Sunday, June 4, 2023

10 years after staying trial court proceedings against IPS Amod Kanth in 1997 Uphaar cinema fire case, SC quashes the case

The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the trial court proceedings against former IPS officer Amod Kanth in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case, where 59 movie-watchers died, over lack of sanction for his prosecution.

A bench, headed by Justice K.M. Joseph said that the magistrate erred in taking cognizance against Kanth, then a senior Delhi Police officer, contrary to the demands of Section 197 of CrPC. The apex court in November 2013, had stayed the trial court proceedings against Kanth and asked the CBI to file its response in the matter.

The bench, also comprising Justices B.V. Nagarathna and Aravind Kumar, said on this short ground alone, of lack of sanction, has Kanth succeeded, while allowing Kanth’s appeal and set aside the impugned order and added that the proceeding stands quashed.

It has scheduled the matter for further hearing next week, when it will take up the case regarding de-sealing of Uphaar cinema hall.

The top court, however, made it clear that its order will not stand in the way of the competent authority taking a decision in the matter and for granting sanction against the appellant as per law.

Kanth had moved the apex court challenging Delhi High Court order passed in October 2013, refusing to quash the summons. He had challenged the trial court order summoning him for allowing extra seats in the cinema hall.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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