Supreme Court: The Supreme Court dismissed the petition seeking additional compensation in connection with the Bhopal gas accident case. The Supreme Court has commented that in the matter of compensation to the victims, the concern should have been raised for additional compensation not after 39 years.
First Published Mar 14, 2023, 4:37 PM IST
Bhopal gas tragedy case: After many years the Supreme Court has taken a crucial decision in the Bhopal gas leak case. The Supreme Court on March 14 dismissed a curative petition filed by the government seeking higher compensation from Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) to pay the victims of the Bhopal gas disaster.
In details.. The Supreme Court rejected the petition filed for additional compensation in connection with the Bhopal gas accident case. The Supreme Court has commented that in the matter of compensation to the victims, the concern should have been raised for additional compensation not after 39 years. A constitution bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said that the attempt to increase the compensation should have been made immediately after the tragedy and not after three decades. The Supreme Court observed that the central government was showing gross negligence in not rectifying the defect by bringing adequate insurance policy to the victims for welfare.
Justice Kaul, who read out the unanimous judgment of the five-judge bench, held that the curative petition filed by the Center to ‘top up’ the compensation of $470 million (about Rs.725 crore at the then exchange rate) fixed in the agreement reached with the Supreme Court in 1989 had no basis in known legal principles to finalize the settlement. Said. It explained that the contract with UCC, a Dow Chemicals subsidiary, can be set aside if it is found to be invalid or on grounds of fraud. Arguments have been made that the government has sought additional funds of Rs 675.96 crore from the pesticide company without any justification.
The court said the government must have been aware of the need for more medical facilities to rehabilitate the victims. Meanwhile, on the midnight of December 2-3, 1984, Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) gas was released and many people died. Many people are affected. The UCC also mentioned the allegation that after the accident, the central government or the Madhya Pradesh government did not take steps to decommission the relevant accident site and remove the waste.
A $470 million settlement was signed on May 4, 1989, resulting in 3,000 deaths in a gas leak. A curative petition filed by the government in 2010 stated that the actual number of deaths was 5,295. Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sanghatan, Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahai Samiti, represented by senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, told the court that the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Center has medical records of gas victims for over 22 years.
An average of 2,000 gas victims are receiving treatment in this center every day. Another 4,000 victims are being treated in six hospitals and 19 clinics run by the Gas Relief Department of the Madhya Pradesh government. Almost 40 years after the accident, the victims are still suffering from the injuries.
Last Updated Mar 14, 2023, 4:37 PM IST