Legal Update: Curative Petition Hearing Delayed as Judge Recused

The hearing of the curative petition seeking additional compensation for Bhopal gas victims in the Indian Supreme Court has been delayed after one of the judges recused himself from the case on the morning of the hearing, January 28th.

A five-Judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah, and Ravindra Bhat were due to hear the petition. However, Judge Ravindra Bhat recused himself on the grounds that he had appeared for the government in a litigation over compensation for victims before the original settlement in 1989. Lead Justice Arun Mishra has said that the bench will be reconstituted by the Chief Justice of India with the hearing rescheduled for February 11th.

The curative petition seeks further compensation of between $629 million and $1.2 billion for victims, as well as seeking stricter punishments for those convicted in the criminal case over design flaws and failures in safety mechanisms at the plant. It also states that on the day of the disaster the safety siren was not operational, leading to further loss of life.

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We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.