Govt to push CBI for early hearing in Bhopal case
Home Minister P Chidambaram said that the CBI has two petitions pending in the Bhopal Sessions Court, one for review of the Magistrate`s order and the other to seek graver charges under IPC against the accused.
New Delhi: Admitting that it has moved on
Bhopal gas disaster issue in view of public outcry, the
Government on Thursday said it will ask the CBI to seek early hearing in
a Bhopal court on its revision petition and seek graver
punishment for the accused in the tragedy.
A day after its curative petition was rejected by the
Supreme Court, the government said it was not the end of the
road and insisted the apex court has endorsed the stand taken
by the CBI.
Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters that the CBI
has two petitions pending in the Bhopal Sessions Court -- one
for review of the Magistrate`s order and the other to seek
graver charges under Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the
"The government will request the CBI to move the
Sessions Court, Bhopal, for early hearing for its revision
application and appeal and seek relief in the Sessions Court
to try the accused for graver charges under the IPC," he said.
Explaining the two grounds on which the CBI was
proceeding, Chidambaram said under Section 323 of CrPC, if it
appears to the magistrate that the case is one that ought to
be tried by the Sessions Court, he may commit the case to the
Sessions Court at any stage.
Under Section 215 of CrPC, a court may alter or add to
any charge at any time before judgement is pronounced, he said
about the other ground.
"The government is happy to note that the judgement of
the Supreme Court (yesterday).. has endorsed the stand taken
by the CBI," he said.
The Home Minister, who headed the Group of Ministers
(GoM) which had suggested filing of the curative petition in
the Supreme Court, said such a step had been taken on the
basis of Attorney General GE Vahanvati`s opinion that there
was "sufficient ground".
Asked whether public outcry had been the reason behind
government filing the curative petition on a 1996 judgement,
Chidambaram said, "it will be naive on my part to say that
public outcry did not play its part."
He said the curative petition could not be filed then
but sought to blame all the successive governments of various
parties for failing to do so.