Bhopal case: Govt likely to challenge 1996 order

Government is likely to file a curative petition in the Supreme Court in the next few days seeking to set aside the 1996 apex court judgement watering down the criminal charges against Bhopal Gas tragedy accused.

New Delhi: Government is likely to file
a curative petition in the Supreme Court in the next few days
seeking to set aside the 1996 apex court judgement watering
down the criminal charges against Bhopal Gas tragedy accused.

Sources in the Law Ministry said Attorney General G E
Vahanvati has been asked to personally draft the petition and
file it by the end of this month.

The 1996 judgement had diluted criminal charges
against the accused by applying Section 304(A) of the IPC
(causing death by negligence) instead of the more stringent
Section 304 (2) -- culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

When contacted, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said the
decision to file a curative petition was taken by the Group of
Ministers.

"There is nothing new in it," he said.

Sources said that in the 1996 judgement, the apex
court had itself said there were major problems in the Bhopal
plant which were overlooked.

The government feels that the testimony of various
witnesses were not available with the Supreme Court bench
headed by then Chief Justice A M Ahmadi, therefore the Bench
could not have found various flaws in operation of the plant
and hence the curative petition could be filed, sources said.

PTI

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