Daily hearings sought on Centre’s petitions in gas tragedy

Mahim Pratap Singh in The Hindu

Survivors press for special treatment to the case

Request Supreme Court to ask Centre on action taken

BHOPAL: Survivors of the Bhopal gas leak disaster have urged the Supreme Court to hold daily hearings on the civil and criminal curative petitions filed by the Centre.

Survivor organisations Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) and the Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahyog Samiti have also urged the Supreme Court to constitute a special court and appoint a Special Public Prosecutor as it has done in the 2G spectrum scam case.

“We feel compelled to make these requests since the Attorney-General Mr. G. E. Vahanvati, in Wednesday’s hearing, merely spoke for re-framing the charges against the Indian accused in the case to Section 304-II [of the Indian Penal Code] and did not ask for any such special provisions for the case which it deserves,” Abdul Jabbar of the BGPMUS told The Hindu.

“Without special treatment, we are afraid the case will go the same way as it did in the trial court and the victims might have to wait another 26 years for justice,” he said.

Recently, the Supreme Court has directed the Centre to constitute a special court and has named U.U. Lalit as the Special Public Prosecutor in the 2G spectrum scam case.

Curative petition

The curative petition in the gas tragedy, filed last July by the Centre, seeks a review of the 1996 order, passed by a Bench presided by the then Chief Justice of India, A.M. Ahmadi, that diluted the charges against the Indian accused from Section 304-II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) to Section 304A (causing death by negligence).

The 1996 order eventually led to the controversial June 7th judgment of the Bhopal Chief Judicial Metropolitan Court whereby the convicts, including former UCIL chairman Keshub Mahindra, got away with mild sentences and were subsequently released on bail the same day.

The survivor organisations have also requested the Supreme Court to ask the Centre about what it was doing to bring to book Union Carbide Corporation (New York), Union Carbide Eastern (Hong Kong) and Warren Anderson (former chairman of Union Carbide) — absconding since 1992.

Girl with candle Bhopal

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