Two-year jail term to the convicts in Bhopal gas tragedy case is grossly disproportionate to the gravity of the crime committed which left more than 15,000 people dead, CBI told Supreme Court on Tuesday while seeking a review of its judgement diluting charges against the convicts.
"The judgement of September 13, 1996, is oppressive to judicial conscience. It has caused manifest irremediable injustice. A horrendous crime was committed and the maximum punishment capable of being imposed under Section 304A (two year jail term) are grossly disproportionate to each other," attorney general G E Vahanvati told a five-judge constitution bench headed by the chief justice S H Kapadia.
He further said although there was a mistake on the part of investigating agency in approaching the court 16 years after the order was passed but the court cannot deny justice on this ground.
"It is a fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence that crime and punishment must be related to each other in proportion to the gravity of the crime and its consequences. It is in public interest that punishment be commensurate to the gravity of the crime and its consequences," he said.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by CBI seeking recall of the apex court's 1996 judgement that had diluted the charges against the accused who were prosecuted just for the offence of being negligent.