In the backdrop of outrage over trial court verdict in Bhopal gas tragedy, government today announced a Rs 1265.56-crore package and decided to file a curative petition in Supreme Court besides pushing for extradition of former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson.
The Union Cabinet, which considered the report of the Group of Ministers on the 1984 disaster, accepted all its 22
recommendations but did not fix liability on anybody.
It decided that the opinion of the Attorney General would be sought on whether Dow Chemicals or any other successor to Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) or Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) could be held liable, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters.
The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, decided that ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh would be given to the kin of each killed in the tragedy, Rs 5 lakh to those who suffered permanent disability, Rs two lakh each to people who suffered cancer and total renal failure and Rs one lakh to those with temporary disability.
The ex-gratia would benefit 45,000 affected people and the amount would be paid after adjusting the compensation
already paid, Soni said.
The government also announced various packages for remediation, rehabilitation and other measures, taking the
total spending to Rs 1265.56 crore.
The Cabinet decided that additional material in support of the request for extradition of Anderson may be put together
by concerned agencies and the External Affairs Ministry would thereafter press the request for extradition with the US
government, she said.
India had made requests for Anderson's extradition earlier, the last being in 2008, but these have not been
entertained by the US.
It was also decided that a curative petition may be filed in the Supreme Court for reconsideration of its judgement of
September 9, 1996, by which the "graver sections" of the IPC were quashed against the accused and the trial was confined to offence under Section 304 (A), Soni said.
The dilution of charges had ensured that the accused could get only two years of maximum imprisonment.
There has been a national outrage over quantum of punishment after the Bhopal trial court gave the maximum
punishment to some of the accused on June 7.