Bhopal gas tragedy case: Activists disappointed with verdict

Last Updated: Monday, June 7, 2010 - 16:27

New Delhi: Disappointed with the court verdict in the Bhopal gas tragedy case, activists, who have been fighting for justice for the families of victims, Monday said the eight persons have been convicted on "diluted" charges and they will appeal before the High Court.

Eminent lawyer KTS Tulsi agreed with the activists, saying that the investigating agencies as well as prosecutors "mishandled" the case and judges acted like a "recording
machine".

"It is the sheer incompetence of investigators as well as prosecutors. They must share the blame. In a trial like this, the judges ought to have made up the deficiency,
directed further investigation and ought not have become merely recording machines," Tulsi said.

He said even the press was not vigilant enough to prevent an attempt to cover-up the role of the accused in the case.

"In every case, where rich and powerful are involved, there is an attempt to cover-up. The question is why did it happen so conveniently? Why was the press not so vigilant?",
he said, adding, that justice has not been done in this case.

"It is the obligation of the judiciary that people get justice. Unfortunately, in this case they have not got justice," Tulsi said.

An activist said that the industrial disaster has been converted into something like a traffic accident.

"People are extremely disappointed because a lot of them did not know that the charges are diluted. Now, they find that the disaster, which was the world`s worst industrial
disaster, has been converted into something like a traffic accident," Sarangi of Bhopal Group of Information and Action, an activist involved with the case for two decades, said.

The activists said they will appeal before the High Court till all the accused are punished under stringent provisions of law.
The court convicted 85-year-old former Union Carbide Chairman Keshub Mahindra and seven others in the case relating to leakage of deadly methyl isocyanate gas in the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984.

They were held guilty under Sections 304-A (causing death by negligence), 304-II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 336, 337 and 338 (gross negligence) of the Indian Penal Code.
However, there was no no word on Warren Anderson, the then Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation of the US, who was declared an absconder after he did not not subject himself to trial in the case that began 23 years ago.

PTI



First Published: Monday, June 7, 2010 - 16:27

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