Ahmadi rubbishes allegations of impropriety

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice A H Ahmadi, facing flak for the 1996 verdict in the Bhopal gas tragedy case, today said he had not committed any impropriety.

New Delhi: Former Supreme Court Chief
Justice A H Ahmadi, facing flak for the 1996 verdict in the
Bhopal gas tragedy case, today said he had not committed any
impropriety by agreeing to head a multi-million dollar trust
set up by the Union Carbide after the gas leak.

But another former CJI J S Verma felt Ahmadi should not
have accepted the task. "It is a question of propriety in the
public eye," he said observing personally he would like to
keep away from anything related to a court decision given by
him.

Asked about allegations that he was heading a trust
funded by an organisation whose case was decided by him,
Ahmadi told Times Now, "I was requested by the Supreme Court
to take up the chairmanship...and accepted it. I don`t think I
did any impropriety in accepting to do some social work in the
nature of treating the unfortunate gas victims".

The judge also denied that there was any conflict of
interest. "There is no conflict of interest. One is totally
different from the other".

Ahmadi said he had twice asked recently-retired CJI K G
Balakrishnan to be relieved from the trust but had been asked
to continue. "So, I cannot be irresponsible and just shoot a
letter of resignation" without there being a replacement."

Following the gas tragedy, CBI had filed a charge sheet
under Section 304 (II) of the IPC (culpable homicide not
amounting to murder) under which the maximum punishment is 10
years.

After this was contested, the Supreme Court in its
judgement delivered by Ahmadi held it was not proper to file
charges under Section 304 (II) and it has to be framed
under Section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) where the
maximum punishment is two years," he said.

A Bhopal court had on Monday convicted eight persons
and sentenced them to two years imprisonment, triggering
outrage among people affected by the tragedy in 1984 that left
over 15,000 dead.

PTI

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