New Delhi, Jan 28

Neelam Krishnamoorthy, president of Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), Friday strongly opposed the plea of Sushil and Gopal Ansal, owners of Uphaar theatre, seeking adjournment of hearing in a case relating to allegedly threatening and abusing her in 2007.

"The ex-parte stay granted to the accused (Ansals and others) on the lower court order summoning them to face the trial is continuing since 2007 and, hence, the plea for adjournment should not be entertained," Krishnamoorthy told the Delhi High Court Judge A.K. Pathak.

Sushil and Gopal Ansal and co-accused Praveen Sharma and Deepak Kathpalia were summoned in 2007 by the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM), New Delhi area who had taken note of Krishnamoorthy's complaint alleging that she was threatened and abused in the Patiala House courts complex here.

Within weeks, Ansals, who challenged the ACMM's order, secured the ex-parte stay from the high court on execution of summons issued against them, and the matter is pending since then.

Friday, during the hearing, Justice Pathak pointed out to the Krishnamoorthy that the accused (Ansals) were no more directors of the company which owned the Uphaar theatre.

"The present case has nothing to do with the issue (of Ansals being the directors or not). It is a private criminal complaint lodged by me after being harassed and threatened in the court premises," Krishnamoorthy said.

The court then deferred the matter for further hearing on April 21.

Krishnamoorthy, in her complaint, alleged two employees of Ansals took her photographs on their mobile phones when she was emerging out of the court of Additional Sessions Judge Mamta Sehgal who was conducting the trial in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case.

On being objected to, accused Praveen Sharma and Deepak Kathpalia abused her and threatened her with dire consequences, the complaint alleged.

Later, the ACMM had issued summons under relevant penal provisions after recording the statement of Krishnanmoorthy.

Ansals and others have been convicted and sentenced in the case relating to the fire at Uphaar, during the screening of Hindi film "Border", on June 13, 1997 in which 59 movie goers had died of asphyxia.

Krishnamoorthy had lost her two children in the inferno.

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