Uphaar: The Gift of Freedom

In appropriate cases, seemingly large amounts of compensation are justified. It is settled, inflation should be considered by while deciding the quantum of compensation.

In (2014) 6 SCC 173, Hon’ble Justice T.S. Thakur spoke of the “cynical Chalta Hai Attitude that more often than not costs the society dearly in man-made tragedies. The price of Mr. Sushil Ansal’s Chalta Hai Attitude has been pegged at Rs. 30 Crores.

That is merely 18 Crores more than what a Medically Negligent Hospital was ordered to pay in (2014) 1 SCC 384 for the death of 1 woman.

In the Uphaar Cinema Tragedy, 59 people died – never to forget hundreds of those who were injured.

In 2011, the SC refused to stay an order directing the Times Global Broadcasting Co. Ltd. to deposit Rs. 20 Crores in the relevant Court as also furnish Rs. 80 Crores in Bank Guarantees. It was a Defamation Suit. A Defamation Suit filed by a Judge. A Defamation Suit filed by a Retired Judge of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India for a 15 second error [See, (2014) 1 SCC 703].

In the Uphaar Cinema Tragedy, the error lasted far longer. But of course, no Judge was affected.

Like James Hadley Chase said once, “goldfish have no hiding place”. We shall be watching, Mr. Sushil Ansal.

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