New Delhi: The government Monday declined to join
issue on the claims of eminent jurist Fali S Nariman that it
is not likely to succeed in reopening certain cases relating
to Bhopal gas tragedy, including the one on resettlement and
dilution of charges against the convicts.
"Fali Nariman has his opinion... we have our own opinion.
Why should I comment on what he has to say. He is a senior
lawyer," Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said here.
He was asked to react to Nariman`s stand that the
government is not likely to succeed in reopening certain cases
related to Bhopal gas tragedy.
To a poser on Nariman`s claim that Attorney General G E
Vahanvati`s opinion that a curative petition can be filed in
the apex court to reopen the case and now charge the convicts
under a higher offence -- 304 (II), rather than 304 (A) --
will not hold ground, Moily said government is "yet to seek"
the AG`s opinion.
"It was the decision of the GoM and the Cabinet to look
at certain issues...we are yet to seek the AG`s opinion," he
Moily said no timeline can be fixed on the issue of
reopening cases as "there was a process involved."
"No, I don`t think so...a settlement is a settlement
and unless there is some fraud involved, it`s never reopened,"
Nariman had said yesterday on whether government will succeed
in reopening the settlement with Union Carbide with the hope
of increasing the compensation amount for the victims of the
1984 industrial disaster.
Moily said the marathon meeting of the GoM on Bhopal
indicated the "urgency" on part of the government. "There is
no question of further delay. It will not be put in cold
storage," he told reporters.