Judge Mohan P. Tiwari, in the eye of a storm following his verdict in Union Carbide gas leak case, is an angry man.
Angry and hurt, said the lawyers and jurists who have seen him toil over the high profile case in the last 15 months as Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal.
Jurists who have watched the case unfolding, said Tiwari gave the maximum sentence to the eight accused under Section 304-A of the IPC pertaining to criminal negligence causing death. “What else he could have done?” asked a lawyer.
“Let the government first send the big people to jail for two years. Only then they should talk of a 6,000-year jail term,” remarked an indignant supporter of the judge.
Despite his promotion as Additional Sessions Judge on Tuesday, Tiwari is in a pensive mood. He is hurt by criticism in the media but not unreceptive. However, he firmly refuses to comment on the case or his verdict.
Apparently he expected people would appreciate the fact that he had awarded the maximum possible sentence admissible under the law.
The case was heard by 19 other Chief Judicial Magistrates before him, but it was Tiwari who delivered the judgement. So, he is taken aback by the public and media outrage and what he sees as “unfair” criticism.
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Wednesday that the accused could have been sentenced for each death separately under Section 71 of the IPC. That would have led to a total imprisonment of 6,000 years as more than 3,000 deaths were officially recorded in the first few days.
But the problem is it was one case for one single act of negligence filed by the CBI. And that may not come under the purview of Section 71, lawyers said.