New Delhi: The CBI today filed a curative
petition in the Supreme Court seeking restoration of stringent
charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which
attracts maximum punishment of a ten-year jail term, against
the accused in the 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy case.
The petition, settled by Attorney General G E
Vahanvati, has sought reconsideration of the September 13,
1996 apex court judgement which had diluted the charges
against former Union Carbide India Chairman Keshub Mahindra
and six others.
"We have asked the court to reconsider the decision of
the apex court which diluted the charges against the accused.
We have sought a direction from the court to restore section
304 part-II of the IPC," advocate Devdatt Kamat, who drafted
the over 500-page curative petition, said.
Besides Mahindra, Vijay Gokhale, the then Managing
Director of UCIL, Kishore Kamdar, the then Vice President, J N
Mukund, the then Works Manager, S P Choudhary, the then
Production Manager, K V Shetty, the then Plant Superintendent
and S I Quereshi, the then Production Assistant were convicted
and sentenced to two years jail term by the trial court in
Bhopal on June 7.
The trial court verdict had sparked an outrage with
activists and political parties seeking an appeal against it,
maintaining that they had been tried under a less provision of
law for the tragedy that left 15,000 people dead and thousands
All the accused were tried under section 304A of the
Indian Penal Code which attracts the maximum punishment of two
years` imprisonment for causing death by rash and negligent
The charge under section 304 part-II was diluted to
section 304A by the bench comprising the then Chief Justice A
M Ahmadi and Justice S B Majmudar.
In the curative petition, the CBI said the 1996
verdict diluting charges suffered from serious errors.