January 28, 2020

Bhopal Gas Tragedy: SC To Hear Plea For Compensation

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Supreme Court is scheduled to the central government’s plea seeking Rs 7,844 crore as additional funds from companies succeeding US-based Union Carbide Corporation, currently owned by Dow Chemicals, to disburse as further compensation to victims of the 1984 Bhopal Gas leak tragedy.

A five-judge bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Indira Banerjee, Justice Vineet Saran, Justice M R Shah and Justice S Ravindra Bhat, will hear a curative petition seeking increased compensation for the victims shortly.

The central government has sought a direction to Union Carbide Corporation and other companies to pay an additional amount of Rs 7,844 crore, which is over and above an earlier compensation settlement amount of USD 470 million paid in 1989.

Since 1984, the Bhopal Gas tragedy victims have been fighting a long and draining battle for adequate compensation and proper medical treatment for ailments caused due to the leak of poisonous methyl isocynate gas which was used in the production of pesticides.

In December 2010, the central government had filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court. In June 2010, a Bhopal court had convicted seven executives of the erstwhile Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) and sentenced them to two years imprisonment.

Warren Anderson, the then UCC Chairman, was the key accused, but he never appeared for the trial. In 1992, the Bhopal court had declared him an absconder and twice issued non-bailable warrants against him in 1992 and 2009, but Anderson passed away due to old age in September 2014.

The toxic gas leak from the Union Carbide factory on the intervening night of December 2 and December3, 1984 had killed more than 3,000 people and affected more than 1.02 lakh people.

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