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Ex CJI Ahmadi refuses to 'join Bhopal blame-game'

Source: PTI
June 12, 2010 17:10 IST
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Former Chief Justice of India A M Ahmadi, whose dilution of charges in the Bhopal gas case has created a storm, on Saturday said he would not like to enter into the blame game over the issue of accused getting light punishment.

"I do not want to go into the blame game. I do not want to go into any type of spat with anyone," he told PTI.

He was responding to Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily's comment that while Central Bureau of Investigation had filed chargesheet for the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 (II) of the Indian Penal Code, the apex court had converted it to 304(A) which invokes lighter punishment.

Moily had sought to put the onus on judiciary for the dilution of charges.

"Unfortunately the judiciary did it," he told mediapersons in Bangalore.

While refusing to be drawn into any further controversy, Justice Ahmadi said that "hue and cry is happening because people want to raise the issue".

To a question on government putting the responsibility on diluted charges on the judiciary, the former CJI said, "The government is always responsible."

"When something of this nature happens to the people of the country, does the government say it has no responsibility? I am unable to understand that," he said.

When his attention was drawn to experts and former CBI officials dubbing the 1996 verdict as absolutely wrong, the former CJI, who was part of the Bench which diluted the charges, said "I cannot say anything about it."

On the trial court verdict, Justice Ahmadi said, "The trial court judge has done what he could have".

When asked about the remedies available to the CBI or the government, he said "I don't see one".

To questions about his heading the Bhopal Memorial Trust Hospital, Justice Ahmadi said he had offered to the previous CJI K G Balakrishnan that he would step down from the post of Chairman. Again he would write to the new CJI S H Kapadia on the issue, he said.

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