The ministerial panel on Bhopal recommended a fresh Rs 1,500-crore package on Monday to help the gas victims and their families. It also proposed making a fresh bid to seek then Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson’s extradition from the United States to stand trial in India.
<b1>The Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram decided as well to file curative petitions in the Supreme Court against its 1996 judgment diluting the criminal charges against Union Carbide officials and the 1989 SC verdict that cleared the company of all its civil liabilities in lieu of its $470 million (Rs 3,000 crore) compensation package.
This is the first time in over 25 years that the government has implicitly acknowledged the $470 million settlement was unfair to the victims and committed itself to fund a rehabilitation package of Rs 1,500 crore of taxpayers’ money.
The GoM has made “significant recommendations,” Chidambaram said before sending the report to Prime Minister Manmohan said, to be put up for cabinet approval on Friday.
Next of kin of the dead would be entitled Rs 10 lakh, the permanently disabled to Rs 5 lakh, the temporarily disabled to Rs 1 lakh and those afflicted by cancer and other serious ailments to Rs 2 lakh.