The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Centre’s Department of Atomic Engery to take over the management of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust (BMHT) .
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia accepted the former Chief Justice A.M. Ahmadi’s resignation as the trust’s Chairman and directed the Centre to initiate appropriate steps to wind up the trust.
The court said the Central government will run the hospital, which was set-up to look after the victims of 1984 gas tragedy.
Justice Ahmadi had written a letter on June 20, 2009 expressing his desire to be relieved as the chairman. Social activists and non-government organisations criticised Justice Ahmadi for holding the chairman’s post despite heading the SC bench, which had diluted the charges against those accused in the case filed in connection with the Bhopal gas tragedy.
Accepting Justice Ahmadi’s letter, the court, however, recorded appreciation for the former CJI and said he had rendered “good service” in running the trust for the last 12 years.
Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati conveyed the Centre’s decision to take over the hospital’s management.
Justice Ahmadi was appointed as the chairman of the trust on May 15, 1998, that was set-up following a Supreme Court order asking the accused company to set up a trust in London on March 1992. Ian Percival was appointed as the sole trustee of the trust in London. After Percival’s death, the Bhopal Memorial hospital trust was constituted.
The Madhya Pradesh government had then leased out land to the trust to set up super-speciality centres to treat the victims. Thirty-two health centres including six hospitals were constructed by the trust.