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Gas tragedy: Panel for curative petition against SC verdict

A committee constituted by Madhya Pradesh government after the recent judgement on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy today recommended filing of a curative petition in the Supreme Court against its 1996 judgement.



Bhopal: A committee constituted by Madhya
Pradesh government after the recent judgement on the Bhopal
Gas Tragedy today recommended filing of a curative petition in
the Supreme Court against its 1996 judgement and formation of
a Joint Task Force for extradition of the then Union Carbide
Chairman Warren Anderson.

"The five-member committee has recommended for filing a
curative petition against the 1996 Supreme Court judgement as
the evidence clearly suggests a prima facie case of section
304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in the
matter as was sought in the charge sheet dated December 1,
1987," Madhya Pradesh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam
Mishra told reporters after releasing the committee report.

In 1996, a two-member Supreme Court bench headed by the
then CJI A M Ahmedi converted the CBI charge of culpable
homicide not amounting to murder, that provided for maximum of
10-year imprisonment, to causing death by negligence, which
provided for a maximum punishment of only two years.

The committee also recommended forming a Joint Task Force
with the Central Government and CBI for bringing Anderson to
justice, Mishra said.

It further said the state should institute a fact-finding
body to probe into the events that led to the escape of
Anderson from the country.

The committee also recommended to the state as well as
CBI for filing an appeal as well as revision petition in the
higher courts against the June 7 judgement as the sentence
given by the trial court was grossly inadequate.

"The trial court has erred in not considering that the
incident was the gravest and most tragic incident of the
industrial history of world, and thus appropriately called for
an exemplary fine," it said.

The committee further suggested filing of a supplementary
charge sheet before the trial court as far as the three
absconding accused are concerned, and pray for framing of
charges under section 304 II, in view of the plethora of
evidence in this regard now available on record.

Referring to the compensation, it suggested to file a
curative petition with respect to the inadequacy of the
compensation before the Supreme Court against 1989 judgement,
which settled for a compensation of USD 470 million.

It also recommended for constituting a fact finding
committee for taking action against erring officials who
failed in their respective statutory and regulatory duties at
all levels leading to the most tragic industrial disaster of
the world.

For the prevention of re-occurrence of tragedies like the
gas disaster, it recommended to enact a legislation which
deals with preventive as well as disaster management aspects.

The committee also recommended for forming a Special Cell
for close monitoring of the progress of all legal proceedings
arising out of the grave industrial disaster before various
courts and forums.

Referring to the Trust Hospital for gas victims, it
recommended that the state should take appropriate steps in
the best interest of patients by appointing an able and expert
administrator for it.

The Committee also recommended for considering the issues
concerned raised by the NGOs.

The five-member committee headed by Additional Solicitor
General of India, Vivek Tankha has State Advocate General R D
Jain, former advocate general Anand Mohan Mathur, Law
Department Principal Secretary A K Mishra and legal luminary
Shantilal Lodha while Health Secretary, S R Mohany was its
member-secretary.

PTI

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