Thursday, 13 October 2011

SC reduces the compensation to Uphaar tragedy victims

In a big jolt to Association of victims of Uphaar tragedy, Supreme Court reduced the compensation payable to the victims. The court also absolved MCD and the licensing authority from paying the compensation. The Court however issued some guidelines for cinema halls across the country.
A bench headed by Justice R V Raveendran ruled that Ansals shall have to pay 85% of the compensation and 15 % has to be paid by Delhi Vidyut Board.According to the apex court now the each dead who was more than 20 yrs of age shall be paid an amount of Rs.10 lakh instead of 18 laksh and dead who r less than 20 yrs of age shall be paid 7.5 laks instead of 15 lakh. Punitive damages on Ansals reduced from 2.5 crores to 25 lakh now.

The court went on to issue the guidelines for cinema halls across the country. According to the guidelines, 

  • All the cinema hall owners shall have to draw an emergency plan to handle cases such as fire tragedy.
  • The cinema hall owners will have to show a short documentary showing how can the patrons go out of the hall in case of emergency. 
  • The staff of the cinema halls have to be trained by conducting mock drills atleast once an year. 
  • The entry doors of the cinema halls shall not be bolted from outside so that patrons can go outside in case of an emergency. 
  • The government shall have to make separate rules for multiplexes.Existing system to Police granting a licence for the cinema halls has to be abolished. 
  • The govt will have to create an authority to deal with such things.
  • The cinema halls will have to be categorised in three categories as far as fire safety is concerned. Green is good, yellow is moderate and red is poor fire safety compliance.
The Association of the victims of uphaar tragedy  (AVUT) filed a civil writ petition on 28th July 1997 in the  Supreme Court against 40 respondents which includes Sushil Ansal,Gopal Ansal,companies share holders,staff of uphaar cinema & various  government agencies , but the same was refered to delhi high court. the main prayer in writ of the association is as under:
  1. Direct the Union of INDIA to ensure that no cinema hall in the country is allowed to run without LICENCE GRANTED after strictly observing all the mandatory conditions prescribed under the law
  2. To award punitive damages against the Respondents to   pay sum of Rs 100 crores jointly or severally to AVUT for the purposes of setting up and augmenting the centralised accident and trauma services and other allied services in the city of Delhi under the supervision of the hon’ble delhi high court.
  3. To award damages against the Respondents jointly or severally to all the victims who lost their lives a sum of Rs 11.8 Crores with the directions to equally distribute the same to the first degree heirs of all the victims.
  4. Award damages against all the respondents jointly or severally to the tune OF RS 10.3 crores to the injured to be distributed evenly or as may be considered just and proper by the hon’ble court.

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