The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear in April the Centre’s plea seeking Rs 7,844 crore as additional fund from the successor firms of United States-based Union Carbide Corporation, now owned by Dow Chemicals, for giving compensation to victims of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said it would hear the central government’s curative petition for enhanced compensation for the victims in April.
The Centre is seeking a direction to Union Carbide and other firms for Rs 7,844 crore additional amount over and above the earlier settlement amount of USD 470 million for paying compensation to the gas tragedy victims.
Over 3,000 people had died in the tragedy due to release of methyl isocyanate gas.
The Union Carbide Corporation gave a compensation of $470 million (Rs 715 crore) after the toxic gas leak from the Union Carbide factory on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, killed over 3,000 people and affected 1.02 lakh others.
The survivors of the 1984 tragedy have been fighting for long for adequate compensation and proper medical treatment for ailments caused by the toxic leak.
The families of the deceased and people who bore the brunt of the industrial disaster were planning to sign a petition, to be sent to the Supreme Court, requesting it to start hearing a curative petition of the government filed in December 2010 for more compensation.
The victims of the “world’s worst disaster” had not been paid adequately by US-based UCC now owned by Dow Chemicals, Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vishwas Sarang had said.
On June 7, 2010, a Bhopal court had convicted seven executives of Union Carbide India Limited to two years’ imprisonment in connection with the incident.
Then UCC chairman, Warren Anderson was the prime accused in the case but did not appear for the trial. On February 1, 1992, the Bhopal CJM court declared him an absconder.
The courts in Bhopal had issued non-bailable warrants against Anderson twice -- in 1992 and 2009.