MP govt to challenge Bhopal gas tragedy verdict

Last Updated: Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 00:07

Bhopal: Describing the verdict in the 1984
Bhopal gas tragedy case as "disappointing", Madhya Pradesh
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Wednesday said the state
government will challenge it in the High Court.

"We are going to challenge the verdict in the High Court
for which we have constituted an expert committee to study the
legal aspects before going in for an appeal," Chouhan told
reporters here.

The five-member committee comprised State Advocate
General R D Jain, former state advocate generals Vivek Tankha
and Anand Mohan Mathur, State Law Department Principal
Secretary A K Mishra and legal luminary Shantilal Lodha, he
said.

"The committee, after studying the case will submit its
initial report within 10 days and the final one within a month
so that the trial court`s verdict can be challenged in the
stipulated 90 days," Chouhan said.

Pointing fingers on prosecution agency CBI, the chief
minister asked why it didn`t file a review petition in the
apex court when it amended the charges to incorporate lenient
Sections of IPC including 304-A (causing death by negligence)
from 304-II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

Chouhan alleged the CBI had not been serious in the
extradition of Warren Anderson, the then chairman of Union
Carbide Corporation, USA, who appears to have gone scot free
in the case as he is still an absconder and has not subjected
himself to trial.

"Only paper work has been done in this regard," he said.

On Monday, Chief Judicial Magistrate Mohan P Tiwari had
convicted all the seven persons including former Union Carbide
chairman Keshub Mahindra, in the case and awarded them a
maximum of two years imprisonment.

However, there was no word about 89-year-old Anderson,
who lives in the US, in the judgement which came 23 years
after the trial commenced.

On the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, toxic
leak from UCIL factory in Bhopal had left over 15,000 people
dead and several others maimed.

The quantum of punishment given to the accused, 26 years
after the world`s worst industrial disaster, as well as
Anderson escaping the judicial process has raised an outcry
in the country.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 00:07

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