The Delhi High Court today refused to suspend the seven-year term awarded to real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal in the Uphaar fire tragedy evidence tampering case.

As far as Ansal brothers are concerned, I am rejecting their application, said Justice Subramonium Prasad.

Last year, Ansals and former Court Staff Dinesh Chand Sharma and two others, P P Batra and Anoop Singh Karayat were awarded seven-year jail term by a Trial Court and the Sessions Court had refused to suspend the sentence and release them on bail.

While dismissing the Ansals' plea for suspension of sentence till the appeal against the conviction by magisterial court is decided, the sessions court had said that the case was one of the gravest of its kind and the offence appeared to be the outcome of a calculated design on the part of the convicts to interfere with the course of justice.

Before the High Court, the Ansal brother had sought suspension of sentence on several grounds including their old age.

The plea was opposed by the Delhi Police and Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT).

The tampering was detected for the first time on July 20, 2002, and when it was unearthed, a departmental enquiry was initiated against Sharma and he was suspended.

Later an inquiry was conducted and he was terminated from services on June 25, 2004.

The magisterial court had also imposed a fine of Rs 2.25 crore each on the Ansals apart from imposing a seven-year-term in the case.

The case was lodged on the direction of the Delhi High Court while hearing a petition by AVUT chairperson Neelam Krishnamoorthy.

With PTI inputs