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The court said the central government should clarify its stand on compensation to the victimsAchi News

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Achi News

Thousands of people died in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, on the night of December 2-3 after a toxic gas leak from a Union Carbide factory. The Central Government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking additional compensation from the successor companies of the American company Union Carbide.

(File photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Center to clarify its stand on the Bhopal gas accident petition.

The court asked the government whether to file a restructuring petition seeking additional funds of Rs 7,844 crore from the successor companies of US-based Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) to compensate the victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas accident. petition) to continue.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice SK Kaul asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for guidance and adjourned the case to October 11 for hearing.

Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Justice AS Oka, Justice Vikram Nath and JK Maheshwari will be on the bench.

“The state has to decide its position whether to proceed with the immigration petition or not,” the bench said.

Advocate Karuna Nandy, who appeared for the victims, said the court should go beyond the government’s decision and investigate the victims.

But the court said it would wait for the central government to clarify its position on the review petition, The Hindu reported.

Justice Kaul said, ‘We will see if you want to listen. If the government insists on this (curative petition), your job will become easier.

Senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for the victims, said that the case investigation should begin as the number of victims has increased by 5 times.

A lawyer appearing for the defendant company agreed to drop the case. The revision petition was filed 19 years after the decision on the revision petition.

There are exceptions in rare cases like the Bhopal gas tragedy, Nandy said.

Justice Kaul asked the lawyer, ‘Unless the government files a revision petition, don’t you see the need to file a revision petition?’

In its revision petition, the Central Government has argued that the compensation fixed in 1989 is unrealistic.

On May 4, 1989 and subsequently on October 3, 1991, the Center sought a review of the Supreme Court’s orders, saying that the 1989 agreement was not factually valid.

The government has sought additional funds of Rs 7,400 crore from the company.

UCC, now owned by Dow Chemicals, paid US$ 470 million (Rs. 715 crore when settled in 1989) in the Bhopal gas disaster case.

It is noteworthy that on the night between 2nd and 3rd December 1984, more than 5,000 people died and around 5.68 lakh were injured due to the toxic ‘methyl isocyanate’ gas leak from the Union Carbide factory. Apart from this, cattle and property of 5,478 people were damaged.

Survivors of the tragedy succumbed to diseases due to the gas leak. They have been fighting for a long time for proper compensation and proper medical treatment.

The Central Government filed a review petition in the Supreme Court in December 2010 seeking to increase the compensation amount.

On June 7, 2010, a Bhopal court sentenced seven officials of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) to two years in prison.

Warren Anderson, then president of UCC, was the main accused in the case but did not appear for the trial. He was declared a fugitive by the Bhopal CJM Court on February 1, 1992.

A Bhopal court had issued non-bailable warrants against Anderson twice in 1992 and 2009. He died in September 2014.

(with input in news agency language)

Genres: India

Tagged as: Bhopal, Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Bhopal Gas Victims, Compensation, Gas Victims, Madhya Pradesh, News, NGO, Supreme Court, The Wire Hindi, Union Carbide Corporation

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