BGPMUS demands day-to-day hearing in Bhopal Gas tragedy case

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Bhopal, April 20: The Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) today (April 20) demanded that hearing on the 26-year-old gas tragedy case should be held on a day-to-day basis in a sessions court here as the victims have been denied justice for long on account of the usual proceedings.

"Already too much time has been lost in court hearings and the disaster victims have so far not got any justice and hence day-to-day hearings have become a must," BGPMUS Convener Abdul Jabbar told PTI.

The BGPMUS Convener said that following the industrial disaster more than 20,000 people lost their lives without seeing the guilty being punished while around five lakh who were taken ill, are still awaiting when those responsible for the gas leak in December 1984 would be brought to book.

Jabbar said most of the accused in the case had now crossed the age of 70 while Warren Anderson who was then CEO of Union Carbide Corporation is 90.

"Under such circumstances, there was simply no point in carrying with the usual hearings which go on for years at a stretch," he said.

The BGPMUS Convener also alleged that attempts were being made by the Carbide in the Supreme Court to dilute the manner in which hearings were being held there.

Jabbar also criticised Harish Salve's opposition to the CBI plea where the senior counsel had said the criminal liability cannot be fixed in a curative petition and that the case should be decided on the basis of law and not on the basis of facts.

"It should be understood that the hearings on the disaster are a very serious matter and hence they should be treated with lot of care and attention with regards to the demands of the victims," Jabbar said.

He said in June last year, a trial court here had sentenced the accused under Section 304 (A) and demanded that they be tried and convicted under Section 304 (2).

The BGPMUS Convener said that the accused have so far been able to escape punishment by taking advantage of various loopholes in the law.

"It is high time that the accused are not allowed to use the loopholes and are awareded sentences that they deserve," Jabbar said.

Union Carbide India Chairman Keshub 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.

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