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Gas tragedy: Panel for curative petition against SC verdict
Bhopal, Jun 18 (PTI/IANS):
Published on 19 Jun. 2010 12:17 AM IST
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A committee constituted by Madhya Pradesh government after the recent judgement on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy today recommended filing of a curative petition in the Supreme Court against its 1996 judgement and formation of a Joint Task Force for extradition of the then Union Carbide Chairman Warren Anderson.
“The five-member committee has recommended for filing a curative petition against the 1996 Supreme Court judgement as the evidence clearly suggests a prima facie case of section 304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in the matter as was sought in the charge sheet dated December 1, 1987,” Madhya Pradesh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra told reporters after releasing the committee report.
In 1996, a two-member Supreme Court bench headed by the then CJI A M Ahmedi converted the CBI charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, that provided for maximum of 10-year imprisonment, to causing death by negligence, which provided for a maximum punishment of only two years.
The committee also recommended forming a Joint Task Force with the Central Government and CBI for bringing Anderson to justice, Mishra said.
It further said the state should institute a fact-finding body to probe into the events that led to the escape of Anderson from the country.
The committee also recommended to the state as well as CBI for filing an appeal as well as revision petition in the higher courts against the June 7 judgement as the sentence given by the trial court was grossly inadequate.
“The trial court has erred in not considering that the incident was the gravest and most tragic incident of the industrial history of world, and thus appropriately called for an exemplary fine,” it said.
The committee further suggested filing of a supplementary charge sheet before the trial court as far as the three absconding accused are concerned, and pray for framing of charges under section 304 II, in view of the plethora of evidence in this regard now available on record.
Referring to the compensation, it suggested to file a curative petition with respect to the inadequacy of the compensation before the Supreme Court against 1989 judgement, which settled for a compensation of USD 470 million.
It also recommended for constituting a fact finding committee for taking action against erring officials who failed in their respective statutory and regulatory duties at all levels leading to the most tragic industrial disaster of the world.
For the prevention of re-occurrence of tragedies like the gas disaster, it recommended to enact a legislation which deals with preventive as well as disaster management aspects.
The committee also recommended for forming a Special Cell for close monitoring of the progress of all legal proceedings arising out of the grave industrial disaster before various courts and forums.
Referring to the Trust Hospital for gas victims, it recommended that the state should take appropriate steps in the best interest of patients by appointing an able and expert administrator for it.

The Committee also recommended for considering the issues concerned raised by the NGOs.
The five-member committee headed by Additional Solicitor General of India, Vivek Tankha has State Advocate General R D Jain, former advocate general Anand Mohan Mathur, Law Department Principal Secretary A K Mishra and legal luminary Shantilal Lodha while Health Secretary, S R Mohany was its member-secretary.
Allegations of deal with Anderson outrageous: Congress

India’s ruling Congress party has denied as “outrageous” allegations that there was a deal to give a safe passage to Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson after the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster.
“Certainly there is no place for such outrageous allegations because there is absolutely no basis except a certain amount of political sensationalism and gimmickry by certain vested interests,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the media here Thursday.
Asked how Anderson could leave India without then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi knowing about it, he retorted: “The prime minister of India does not deal with what every police constable or police commissioner does. There is absolutely no connectivity. The allegation is purely political.
Asked if India could still do something to bring Anderson to justice, he said: “All is not lost, because there are procedures by which a review petition can be filed before the Supreme Court to consider reviewing a judgement passed by it years ago.”
The process of pursuing criminal proceedings in which Anderson was declared a proclaimed offender could also be restarted, he said. But to a large extent it would depend on the US as extradition was a legal process.
Singhvi, who is leading an all-party parliamentary delegation attending the annual India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Programme in the US, also did not see any reason for a fallout from the Bhopal case on the Nuclear Liability Bill pending in the parliament.

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