New Delhi: Real estate tycoon Sushil Ansal, convicted in the 1997 Uphaar cinema fire case, Wednesday, contended before the Delhi High Court that web series ‘Trial by Fire’, stated to be based on the incident and scheduled for release on Netflix on January 13, directly attacks his personality.
Ansal urged the court to grant an injunction against the release of the web series as even its teaser has got 1.5 million views in four days which shows the immediate impact it has.
The lawsuit by the 83-year-old Ansal also sought to restrain the circulation and publication of a book titled ‘Trial by Fire- The tragic tale of the Uphaar Tragedy’.
Justice Yashwant Varma, after hearing arguments for over one-and-a-half-hour, reserved an order in the matter.
Ansal’s counsel argued, “They directly attack my personality. They call me directly by my name. There can’t be a more direct attack on my personality. My name is there in the web series.” Ansal’s plea was vehemently opposed by the counsel for producers of the web series, Netflix and authors of the book — Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy — who lost their two children in the fire tragedy.
In his plea, Ansal said he has been “punished both legally and socially” and the release of the series, which is stated to be based on the book written by a couple who lost their two children to the fire, would cause irreparable harm to his reputation and breach his right to privacy.
A massive fire had broken out at the Uphaar cinema during the screening of the Hindi film ‘Border’ on June 13, 1997, claiming 59 lives.
In 2017, the Supreme Court had finally decided the case and directed the now 83-year-old Sushil Ansal and his brother Gopal Ansal (74) to pay a fine of ₹ 30 crore each.
The top court had then released Sushil Ansal taking into account the period he had already spent in jail.
The Ansal brothers and two others were later held guilty of tampering with the evidence related to the trial.