Govt launches litigation policy to prevent repeat of Bhopal gas case
Launching the National Litigation Policy to make government an "efficient and a responsible" litigant, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily on Wednesday said monitoring and review mechanism proposed under it would prevent "delay or neglect" of important cases such as the Bhopal gas tragedy.
Moily said the Policy recognised the fact that the government and its various agencies were the predominant litigants in courts and tribunals in the country.
"Its (the policy's) aim to transform government into an efficient and a responsible litigant," he told a press conference in New Delhi.
Noting that the policy took into account the responsibility of the government to protect the rights of citizens and to respect fundamental rights, the Law Minister said those in-charge of the conduct of official litigation should never forget this basic principle.
Under the policy, Moily said the government would categorise and group court cases so that those contesting on behalf of the government could prioritise them.
"If this is in place, ultimately, constant review, prioritising and categorisation will track everything. Maybe cases like the Bhopal one will not be repeated in this country. That is the target of this (policy)," he said.
The Minister also noted that "a sensitised and sensitive" government would represent all these cases so that there was "no delay or neglect" at any stage (in cases like the Bhopal catastrophe).
Moily said these systems will be in place so that the delay witnessed in the Bhopal case did not become a norm as "justice delayed is justice buried."
Asked about the curative petition that the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Bhopal case was considering, Attorney General GE Vahanvati, who was present, said the Law Minister had only made "a suggestion" before the GoM and it was not "a considered opinion".
Vahanvati said the GoM's report had to first go to the Cabinet, which had to approve the suggestion.
He claimed the 1996 Supreme Court order in the Bhopal gas leak case was "wrong as a matter of law."
Based on the available evidence, the Supreme Court had in 1996 reduced the charge against the accused in the Bhopal case from culpable homicide not amounting to murder to causing death by negligence.
"I am not criticising the judgement.... I am entitled to tell you that it is wrong. I say it as a matter of law. I believe there are contradictions in the judgement and there are lots of material that have come up post that judgement," he said.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police is carrying out rescue operations at Uttrakhand's Pithoragarh to rescue two trekkers who went missing on Sunday during the Khaliya Top trek in Pithoragarh, news agency ANI reported. The trekkers, identified as Vishal Gangwar, 28, and Santosh Kumar, 30 are residents of Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly. The ITBP deployed two teams to search for the trekkers. The ITBP team said food and drinking water was provided by them.
As per the weather forecast, rainfall is likely to continue for the coming few days. Heavy rainfall has been predicted for the coming 4-5 days in Bengaluru. Localities around the HAL airport area received 86.4 mm rainfall. Rainfall in other states The weather department has predicted light rainfall over parts of Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha for the next four days. These rains will be accompanied by gusty winds and thunderstorms.
All gram panchayats in Bihar will soon have their own websites as part of the state government's mission to bring in accountability and transparency in the system of rural governance. These websites will contain demographic details, places of historical importance, important institutions as well as details of elected representatives of the area. Panchayati raj minister Samrat Chaudhary said the state government had also allocated ₹3261 crore as its grant for gram panchayats.
Maintaining its stand of opposing the demolition drives carried out by the three Bharatiya Janata Party-led municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs), the Delhi government has now sought reports from the three civic bodies on all “bulldozer actions” carried out since April 1 this year. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also asked his party MLAs to even prepare to go to prison to protect people from the demolition drives.
BENGALURU: At least two people were killed, while several others were left scrambling for shelter as heavy rainfall battered large parts of Bengaluru. Three workers were stuck in a flooded pipeline in Ullal Upanagara, and only one person managed to escape. The India Meteorological Department on Tuesday issued an Orange alert for urban and rural districts of Bengaluru, predicting heavy rainfall for the next 4-5 days.