Supreme Court seeks more relief for Bhopal victims
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Union Carbide Corporation, Dow Chemicals and others on the Centre’s extra-ordinary petition seeking an additional compensation of Rs 7,844 crore for the victims of 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
Over 5,000 people were killed and about five lakh injured in the world's worst-ever industrial disaster when deadly methyl isocyanides leaked from Union Carbide’s plant in Bhopal in the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984.
The apex court had awarded a compensation of Rs 750 crore to the victims. Through its curative petition, the Centre has requested SC to take a re-look at the entire evidence and enhance the compensation amount.
A five-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia also sought reply from Mcleod Russel India, which holds 50.9% share in UCIL, currently known as Eveready Industries Limited.
The bench also decided to hear CBI's curative petition asking the court to restore the stringent charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the accused in the criminal case. It said the court would hear the Centre's curative petition daily and fixed April 13 for commencement of the hearing.
Notices were also issued on the Centre's plea for transfer of a petition relating to the environmental damage caused due to the leakage of the poisonous gas pending before the Madhya Pradesh HC.
The apex court had on August 31 last agreed to re-examine its own September 1996 judgment holding that the accused in the Bhopal gas leak case should face trial for negligence and not under the harsher penal provision of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Due to this ruling the accused including Union Carbide chairman Keshub Mahindra got away with a lighter punishment of two years in May 2010.