A Delhi court today dismissed the application of Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) alleging that Sushil Ansal, convicted in the 1997 case, played a fraud on authorities to get his passport renewed. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat rejected the plea filed by AVUT chairperson Neelam Krishnamoorthy that had alleged that Ansal concealed or gave false information to the authorities for renewal of his passport. The court, however, granted a hearing on January 12 in the case related to tampering of evidence in Uphaar fire tragedy after Krishnamoorthy pressed for an early date contending it was a 10-year-old matter which had already been delayed. Krishnamoorthy, who lost two children in the tragedy, has been fighting a legal battle on behalf of the victims' families for the last 20 years. It was alleged earlier that Ansal was getting his passport renewed every 5-10 years. According to the law, grant of passport may be refused to a person if any court case is pending against him in the country. "The applicant has serious apprehensions that the accused has not adopted correct procedure and has never approached this court or any other court for taking permission for seeking renewal of the passport since the year 1997. "The applicant has apprehensions that a serious fraud has been played on the passport authority and the court by some ill-motivated persons who are evading the due process established by law," the AVUT application had said. Krishnamoorthy had also sought direction to Ansal to furnish a copy of the court order granting him permission to get his passport renewed. The apex court had last year asked Gopal Ansal to undergo the remaining one-year jail term in the case, while his elder brother Sushil got relief from incarceration with a prison term already undergone by him in view of age-related complications. A fire at the Uphaar cinema during the screening of Hindi film 'Border' on June 13, 1997 had claimed 59 lives.
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