Court defers hearing on petition against Bhopal Gas verdict

A sessions court here on Tuesday adjourned hearing on the petition challenging the trial court`s verdict awarding 2 years` imprisonment to seven Union Carbide executives in Bhopal gas tragedy case.

Last Updated: Jun 29, 2010, 23:43 PM IST

Bhopal: A sessions court here on Tuesday
adjourned hearing on the petition challenging the trial
court`s verdict awarding 2 years` imprisonment to seven Union
Carbide executives, including its former India Chairman Keshub
Mahindra, in Bhopal gas tragedy case.

District and Sessions Court Judge Subhash Kakde will hear
the submissions tomorrow.
Earlier, no sooner had hearing on the appeal begun, the
NGOs working for the gas tragedy survivors, along with others,
opposed it.

CBI counsel Hemant Shukla said he has not yet received a
copy of the appeal and thus can`t speak on the issue.

Senior prosecutor Dinesh Dinkar, representing Madhya
Pradesh government, opposed the plea and contended the
punishment of two years` imprisonment awarded to the convicts
was too little as compared to the magnitude of the tragedy.

The petition was filed by defence counsel, Ajay Gupta, on
behalf of the seven convicted executives of Union Carbide
under section 374 of the CRPC under which an appeal can be
filed in the sessions court against the order.

In the petition, the convicts` contended they be absolved
of all charges in Bhopal Gas disaster case as the incident,
which took place on the intervening nights of December 2-3,
1984, "was merely an accident and not an act of negligence."

Chief Judicial Magistrate Mohan P Tiwari had on June 7
awarded sentences against former Chairman of Union Carbide
India Limited Keshub Mahindra, former Managing Director Vijay
Gokhle, former Vice President Kishore Kamdar, former Works
Manager J Mukund, former Production Manager S P Choudhary,
former Plant Superintendent K V Shetty and former Operator SI
Qureshi.
They were awarded two-year imprisonment under relevant
sections of IPC. A fine of Rs 1,01,750 under different
sections was also imposed on them.

PTI