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– Photo: Amar Ujala
The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Centre’s curative petition seeking more compensation to the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984. Significantly, in this case involving Union Carbide, a curative petition was filed in 2010 itself. The Supreme Court reserved its judgment on this in January itself.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said, two decades after the agreement, there was no justification for the Center to raise the issue. The top court said that the central government should use Rs 50 crore lying with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the victims to settle the pending claims. “We are not satisfied with any of the arguments of the Central Government which is raising this issue after two decades… We are of the view that curative petitions cannot be entertained,” said the Bench, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, on the bench, Justice Abhay S. Oka, Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JO Maheshwari is also included. The bench had reserved judgment on the matter on January 12.
What was the demand of the Central Government?
In its petition, the central government had said that 2.05 lakh victims were considered in 1989, when the Supreme Court decided the compensation. In these years, the number of gas victims has increased more than two and a half times to more than 5.74 lakhs. In such a situation, the compensation should also increase. If the Supreme Court agrees to increase the compensation, thousands of Bhopal gas victims will also get its benefit.