Curative plea filed in Supreme Court on anniversary of tragedy

Coinciding with the anniversary of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, the Centre on Friday filed a curative petition seeking enhancement of the compensation of $ 470 million determined by the Supreme Court in 1989 on the ground that this settlement was arrived at on the basis of assumptions of truth unrelated to realities.

The Centre as parens patriae (parent of the nation) of the victims of the world's largest industrial disaster already filed a curative petition for restoration of the stringent charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which attracts the maximum punishment of 10-year jail term, against the accused.

The petition, drawn by advocate Devadatt Kamat and settled by Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati, has cited as respondents the Union Carbide Corporation, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemicals Co., U.S.; Dow Chemicals ; McLeod Russel India, Kolkata, and Eveready Industries, Kolkata.

The present petition sought a review of the May 4, 1989 and October 3, 1991 orders, contending that the 1989 settlement was seriously impaired. An additional compensation of Rs. 675.96 crore under various categories had become due and payable in 1989. “Since the said amount is being claimed in 2010, several aspects such as devaluation of the rupee, interest rate, purchasing power parity and the inflation index have to be factored in while computing the claim amount.” So the total would come to Rs. 5,786 crore.

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