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Bhopal gas leak victims bemoan adhura nyay

July 20, 2004 19:09 IST

A day after the Supreme Court ordered the government to disburse Rs 1,503 crore lying with the Reserve Bank of India to victims of the Union Carbide gas leak tragedy, a group of social activists on Tuesday demanded an increase in the compensation.

"We whole-heartedly welcome the Supreme Court judgment because it recognised the fact that the magnitude of the Bhopal gas leak disaster was five times more than what was estimated at the time of the settlement in February 1989," said Indira Jaisingh, a senior counsel in the Bhopal gas tragedy case.

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As per the terms of the $470 million settlement that the Rajiv Gandhi government agreed to with Union Carbide, there were only 105,000 victims to be compensated. However, the latest court order recognises that there were over 570,000 claimants who have to be paid compensation out of the settlement fund now, she explained.

"The significance of the order is also that the highest court of law gave its stamp of approval to the figures of dead and injured determined by the claim courts. We want the compensation to be increased by five times, else this would be adhura nyan (incomplete justice)," said N D Jayaprakash, co-convener, Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti.

"Since the court has accepted that the scale of the tragedy was five times more than what the 1989 estimates held, therefore the amount of compensation should also be increased by five times," said Abdul Jabbar Khan, convener, Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sanghathan.

These organisations are now planning to file a petition before the court for an increase in the compensation amount.

External Links:
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
Warren Anderson found

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