A five judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice HS Kapadia, on April 13, began the hearing of curative petitions in the Bhopal gas tragedy. While hearing the curative petition filed by the CBI to re-examine the 1996 Supreme Court's judgement, the five judge bench questioned the CBI for approaching the court after a gap of 16 years and not filing a review petition during these years.
GE Vahanvati, Attorney General appearing for the CBI, clarified that a review petition was filed by some other organization in the past (Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangarsh Sahyog Samiti) but was dismissed and admitted that CBI was late in approaching the court. He added that the delay, however, should not be a reason to deny justice to thousands of people who lost their lives in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy case on the night of December 2-3, 1984.
The curative petition by the CBI has been filed to book Keshub Mahindra, the then chairman of Union Carbide India Limited and others accused in the case under section 304 Part-II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
“There were a series of events that took place from 1982, which showed that their were serious problems with the plant including design defects, lack of refrigeration, inadequate storage etc. The accused were aware of the omissions and commissions in the plant and despite that no steps were taken to avoid that accident and inform people of the precautions they needed to take in case of a gas leak,” he said.
According to the 1996 judgement, the court had ruled that the accused be tried under section 304(a), which amounts to causing death by negligence. The charge under section 304 Part- II was diluted to section 304(a) by a bench comprising chief justice AM Ahmadi and justice SB Majmudar. Last year on June 7, a trial court in Bhopal convicted and sentenced the seven accused to two years jail term.
GE Vahanvati’s argument went on for a whole day. The next hearing is scheduled for April 19.
|Action Plan_Environmental Remediation in and around UCIL, Bhopal|
|Contamination due to Union Carbide factory - December, 2009|
|Analysis of Soil and Groundwater Samples in Bhopal, IITR, 2013|
|NEERI-NGRI FinalReport: Assessment and Remediation of Hazardous Waste
Contaminated Areas in and around M/s Union
Carbide India Ltd., Bhopal, June, 2010
|IICT: Technical and tender document for detoxification, decommissioning and dismantling of Union Carbide plant, February, 2010|
|CPCB findings on contamination at Bhopal site Jan 2010|
|Report on visit to UCIL at Bhopal for steps needed to remove toxic waste, NK Verma and others from central and state pollution control board and BGTRRD, 2003|
|Technical guidelines for cleanup at the Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) site in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, Greenpeace International, 2002|
|Surviving Bhopal 2002: Toxic Present - Toxic Future, Shrishti and Fact Finding Mission on Bhopal, 2002|
|Chemical Stockpiles at Union Carbide India Limited in Bhopal: an investigation, Greenpeace International, 2002|
|Groundwater Contamination near the Union Carbide Plant at Bhopal, Peoples Science Institute, 2001- 02|
|The Bhopal Legacy, Greenpeace International, 1999|
|Assessment of Contaminated Areas Due to Past Waste Disposal Practices at EIIL, Bhopal NEERI, 1997|
|State Research Laboratory report, Public Health Engineering Department, Bhopal, 1996|
|Process Package for Disposal of SEP Contents at UCIL, Bhopal, NEERI Report 1992 (Recommendations)|
|Assessment of Pollution Damage Due to Solar Evaporation Ponds at UCIL, Bhopal NEERI 1990|
|Union Carbide in Bhopal, India: The Lingering Legacy, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, 1990|
|Bhopal site rehabilitation and assets recovery project, Union Carbide, 1989|
|The Bhopal Disaster|
|Supreme Court's Order on Toxic Waste, May 2013|
|Supreme Court's Order on Toxic Waste, March 2013|
|Curative petition filed by 5 bhopal organisations for compensation, April 2011|
|Supreme Court order on Bhopal waste disposal, January 28, 2010|
|Supreme Court review judgement on Bhopal gas case, May 4, 2007|
|Supreme Court review judgement on Bhopal gas case, October 3, 1991|
|Supreme Court decision on Bhopal gas settlement, February 14, 1989|
|US lower court order on Bhopal gas case, May, 1986|
|Key legal cases|
|Waste disposal at UCIL|
|CSE letter to Jairam Ramesh Minister of Environment and Forests on Bhopal for GoM - June 17, 2010|
|CSE letter to Bijoy Chatterjee, Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals - February 15, 2010|
|CSE letter to Ratan Tata - December 11, 2009|
|CSE letter to Montek Singh Ahluwalia - December 11, 2009|
|CSE letter to Bijoy Chatterjee, Secretary,
Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals - November 30, 2009