Detail hazards to nuclear scientists: HC

Published - March 04, 2017 01:02 am IST

Mumbai: In a PIL concerning the mysterious deaths of nuclear scientists, the Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Department of Atomic Energy, Atomic Energy Commission and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board to file affidavits specifying steps taken in respect of health hazards, deaths, accidents, compensation to victims with respect to their deaths

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh informed the court that some scientists have died due to heart attacks and other ailments. He also said radiation in nuclear plants is below permissible levels. A Division Bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G.S. Kulkarni was hearing a PIL filed by RTI activist Chetan Kothari. The PIL cites instances of two high-ranking engineers, KK Josh and Abhish Shivam, working on India’s first nuclear-powered submarine in Mumbai, found lying dead on railway tracks in 2011. They had been allegedly poisoned.

He was represented by advocate Ashish Mehta, who said hundreds of nuclear scientists died under mysterious circumstances over the past 15 years and many of those deaths were labelled suicides or unexplained deaths by the police. In 2010, Mr. Kothari had sought list of scientists and employees in BARC who had committed suicide during the last 15 years under the RTI Act. He was informed that five employees had killed themselves.

The court has directed the departments to place on record the rules, regulations, schemes, guidelines on this and adjourned the matter to March 31.

In June 2015, the court asked the Department of Atomic Energy, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board whether safety measures are in place for nuclear scientists.

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