The Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) today told a Delhi court it apprehended that Sushil Ansal, convicted in the case, played a fraud on the authority concerned to get his passport renewed. The AVUT's application, which will be heard on August 11, said that there was apprehension that the business tycoon concealed or gave false information to the authorities for renewal of his passport. During the course of the hearing, it became known that Ansal was getting his passport renewed every 5-10 years, it claimed. 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 did not adopt the correct procedure and never approached this court or any other court for taking permission for renewal of the passport since 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," it said. AVUT chairperson Neelam Krishnamoorthy urged Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass to direct Ansal to furnish a copy of the court order granting him permission to get his passport renewed. Krishnamoorthy, who lost two children in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy, has been fighting a legal battle on behalf of the victims' families for the last 20 years. The apex court had recently 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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