rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » SC rejects CBI plea to re-open Bhopal gas tragedy case

SC rejects CBI plea to re-open Bhopal gas tragedy case

Last updated on: May 11, 2011 11:10 IST

SC rejects CBI plea to re-open Bhopal gas tragedy case

     Next

Next

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the Central Bureau of Investigation's curative petition seeking restoration of stringent charges against Bhopal tragedy accused.

The bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia observed that both CBI and the Madhya Pradesh government had not provided satisfactory explanation on filing curative petition after a lapse of 14 years.

"The September 1996 judgement and order was never a fetter for the CBI or Madhya Pradesh government to seek enhancement of charges," it added.

The CBI had sought a review of the Supreme Court judgement of 1996 that diluted charges against the accused from culpable homicide not amounting to murder to criminal negligence.

The verdict had sparked nationwide outrage, leading to the government setting up a group of ministers and the filing of a curative petition against the lighter punishment for those responsible for the gas tragedy. The apex court had on August 31, 2010, decided to re-examine its own judgement that led to the lighter punishment.

Click on NEXT to read further...



     Next

SC rejects CBI plea to re-open Bhopal gas tragedy case

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The apex court has heard the case on a day-to-day basis and it would now hear the plea for enhancement of compensation from Rs 750 crore to Rs 7,700 crore for the victims.

In this matter, Madhya Pradesh government has also moved the apex court seeking its permission to intervene in the petition filed by CBI to re-examine September 1996 judgement by which the accused persons were tried for the offence of criminal negligence which resulted in a lighter punishment of two years' jail term of several accused, including former Union Carbide India Chairman Keshub Mahindra, on June 7, 2010.

Keshub Mahindra has opposed CBI's plea arguing that the case should be decided on the basis of law and not on the basis of facts.

The apex court had on August 31 last decided to re-examine its own judgement that led to lighter punishment of two years imprisonment for all the seven convicts.

Besides Mahindra, Vijay Gokhale, the then Managing Director of UCIL, Kishore Kamdar, then Vice President, J N Mukund, then Works Manager, S P Choudhary, then Production Manager, K V Shetty, then Plant Superintendent and S I Quereshi, then Production Assistant were convicted and sentenced to two years' jail term by a trial court in Bhopal on June 7 last year.



Prev     Next

SC rejects CBI plea to re-open Bhopal gas tragedy case

Prev     More
Prev

More

Appearing for the CBI, Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati had said the investigating agency's decision to seek a review was taken on the facts "which shook our conscience".

Requesting the apex court to modify its earlier order, he had said,"it is our duty to do justice and it should prevail in the public interest".

"Lots of values are involved in it and it was one of the rarest situation," he said.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmlani, appearing for 81-year professor Ramaswamy R Iyer who has intervened in the case, accused CBI of "shedding crocodile tears" and pleaded with the court to ask the government to reveal information on how it negotiated with the Union Carbide on the compensation for victims.

He further said politicians and bureaucrats have messed up the entire issue.



Prev     More