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Bhopal gas tragedy: Court lets off convicts lightly

Written By Krishna on Sunday, September 02, 2012 | 7:27 AM

Note: A copy of the order by Kumari Sushma Khosla, District and Sessions Judge is expected to be given on September 3, 2012. There is a need to set up special court for all Bhopal related cases for regular and frequent hearing.

Gopal Krishna
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA

MP plea for harsh punishment to accused adjourned for Oct 6
TNN | Sep 2, 2012

BHOPAL: A local court on Saturday adjourned to October 6 the hearing on an appeal and revision petition filed by Madhya Pradesh government seeking harsher punishment for the convicts of world's worst industrial disaster, the Bhopal Gas disaster.

District and sessions judge Sushma Khosla also directed that the petitions filed by the non-governmental organizations (NGO) seeking re-trial and harsh punishment for convicts of the 1984 tragedy should be clubbed along with the state government pleas that will come up for hearing on October 6, deputy director (prosecution) Satish Dinkar told TOI.

He said that MP government, under appeal, has demanded that punishment awarded to the convicts in different sections of IPC should go consecutively instead of concurrent sentence for maximum term of two years under section 304 (A) (causing death by rash and negligence not =amounting to homicide) of IPC. "We want that instead of one year punishment awarded under section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), the convict should get two years imprisonment," he added

"In the revision petition, we have sought re-trial of the convicts under section 304 (II) (act done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, which entail 10 years imprisonment) of IPC. Also we want punishment on each count", he said adding that though the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) court has power to award maximum 7 years imprisonment, in special case, it can double it to 14 years, he added.

On June 7, 2010, CJM MP Tiwari had convicted and handed down two years imprisonment to eight people under section 304 (a). But following world-wide outrage against the, "Too little and too late punishment", the prosecuting agency CBI and state government in a damage control exercise moved the revision petitions.

After the poisonous gas from the now defunct Union Carbide Factory here, leaked on the night of December 2-3, 1984, an FIR was registered against the convicts on December 3, 1984 and the case was transferred to CBI four days later. The CBI filed the charge sheet after investigation on December 1, 1987.

Subsequently, the CJM framed charges against the accused under section 304 II, section 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and other relevant sections of IPC. After the accused moved the Apex Court, it amended the charges on September 13, 1996 to 304 (A), 336 A (acts endangering life or personal safety of others, 337 (causing hurt by endangering life or personal safety of others) and other sections of IPC.

For the gas leak, the CJM had convicted seven people Keshub Mahendra, the then UCIL chairman, Vijay Gokhle, the then managing director, Kishore Kamdar, vice president, J Mukund, works manager, S P Choudhary, production manager, K V Shetty, plant superintendent, S I Quershi, production assistant of UCIL, besides UCIL Calcutta.

The three accused -- the then chairman of Union Carbide Corporation of USA, Warren Anderson, besides Union Carbide Corporation, USA and Union Carbide Eastern, Hong Kong - had escaped the trial.

One of the accused tried for the offences, R B Roy Choudhary, who was the former assistant works manager Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) Mumbai, died during the trial.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/MP-plea-for-harsh-punishment-to-accused-adjourned-for-Oct-6/articleshow/16191033.cms


Bhopal gas tragedy: Demand for fresh trial under stringent IPC section
Aug 31, 2012 Bhopal, PTI

An NGO, party in the Bhopal gas tragedy case in the court and fighting for the rights of the victims, has said it will move an application in the High Court for setting up a special court to conduct a fresh trial against Union Carbide officials at that time.

This has become necessary after the dismissal of the CBI plea to change sections under which these officials should be tried, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangthan convenor, Abdul Jabbar told PTI.

"We will soon move an application in the High Court against the district and sessions court decision dismissing CBI plea to raise quantum of punishment by retrying the case under section 304 (II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC and demand Constitution of a special court for fresh trial in the case," Jabbar said.

"Already a lot of injustice has been done to the victims with the case taking over two decades (first time filed on December 1, 1987) to arrive at any decision, which was too little and too late in 2010," he said.

On August 28, 2012, the sessions court upheld a 2010 verdict of a trial court in the 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy case while dismissing the CBI's petition seeking re-trial and enhancement of sentence awarded to former Union Carbide officials.

The revision petition seeking enhancement of sentence under the new section of 304-II of IPC, which provided for a maximum sentence of 10-year imprisonment, was rejected by district and sessions court Judge Sushma Khosla.

The judge struck down the petition on the ground that the CBI should have approached the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) during the trial for enhancing the punishment, observing that the agency has not filed the application within the mandatory time limit.

If the trial in the case is not conducted on a day-to-day basis by constituting a special court then the very purpose of revisiting it would be defeated, as the majority of the convicts are above 70 years of age, Jabbar said.

The then Union Carbide Corporation Chief, Warren Anderson, is about 93 years of age, who is still absconding in the case, and others can never be brought to justice if the situation continues like this, he lamented.

In view of the above fact, we would file an appeal in the High Court demanding fresh trial in the case under section 304 (II) by constituting a special court, Jabbar stated.

The first decision in the case was pronounced by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) court on June 7, 2010, convicting eight people, including Keshub Mahindra, the then chairman of UCIL, and other senior officials - Vijay Gokhle, Kishore Kamdar, J Mukund, S P Choudhary, K V Shetty and S I Quereshi and RB Choudhary (died during trial).

The FIR in the tragedy was filed on December 3, 1984 and the case was transferred to CBI on December 6, 1984. The CBI filed the charge sheet after investigation on December 1, 1987.

The central agency had filed the revision petition after a hue and cry was raised following the trial court's June 7, 2010 order handing down two-year imprisonment to Keshub Mahindra among others, after finding them guilty under section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC.

Before filing the revision petition, a curative application was also filed in the Supreme Court in the matter following which the apex court directed the agency to approach the lower court.

After that, CBI had filed a revision petition in the sessions court seeking enhancement of sentence under section 304 (II) against Mahindra and other former officials of Union Carbide.

The district and sessions court also termed the decision of the CJM in the case as sufficient and added that no doubts can be raised on its working.

Thousands of people were killed and lakhs maimed following leak of a poisonous gas from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal on the intervening nights of December 2-3 in 1984.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_bhopal-gas-tragedy-demand-for-fresh-trial-under-stringent-ipc-section_1734922


CBI plea for harsh sentence to Carbide accused dismissed

Aug 29, 2012
BHOPAL: In a setback to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), a local court on Tuesday dismissed the prosecution agency's revision petition seeking re-trial of the convicts of 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy under harsher law.

However, the district and sessions judge Sushma Khosla would take a call on a similar revision and an appeal petition of state government seeking re-trial of the convicts under section 304 (II) of IPC inviting 10 years imprisonment on Saturday, the deputy director (prosecution) Satish Dinkar said.

Turning down CBI plea the Judge Sushma Khosla said that the agency hadn't raised such demands during a marathon trial leading to the conviction of eight for two years under section 304 A of IPC, defence counsel Ajay Gupta told TOI.

The Judge had Saturday last reserved its order on the CBI and state government's plea.

The CBI and the state government in a damage-limitation-exercise had filed the revision petitions In the wake of the outcry over the judgment of chief judicial magistrate MP Tiwari who had handed down two years punishment as per section 304 A of IPC to the eight convicts for the world's worst industrial disaster, after a 25-year-old trial on June 7, 2010,

The CJM had convicted eight people including Keshub Mahendra, the then chairman of UCIL, Vijay Gokhle, the then managing director of the company, Kishore Kamdar, vice president, J Mukund, works manager, S P Choudhary, production manager, K V Shetty, plant superintendent, S I Quereshi production assistant of UCIL and UCIL Calcutta.

The three accused -- the then chairman of Union Carbide Corporation of USA, Warren Anderson, besides Union Carbide Corporation, USA and Union Carbide Eastern, Hong Kong - had escaped the trial.

One of the accused tried for the offences, R B Roy Choudhary, the then former assistant works manager Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL), Mumbai, died during the trial.

FIR in the tragedy was filed on December 3, 1984 and the case was transferred to CBI on December 6, 1984. The CBI filed the charge sheet after investigation on December 1, 1987.

Subsequently, the CJM framed charges against the accused under section 304 II, section 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and other relevant sections of IPC. After the accused moved the Apex Court, it amended the charges on September 13, 1996 to 304 (A) (causing death by negligence), 336 A (acts endangering life or personal safety of others, 337 (causing hurt by endangering life or personal safety of others) and other sections of IPC.

Poisonous gas leakage from the now defunct Union Carbide Factory here on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, killed more than 15,000 people and injured lakhs.

Bhopal gas tragedy: Court lets off convicts lightly
DNA | Aug 29, 2012

Bhopal: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) suffered a major setback when a trial court turned down its revision petition pressing for a re-trial of the convicts in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy for harsher punishment here on Aug 28.

The CBI succumbing to mounting public outcry against a trial court order on June 7, 2010 that convicted the accused in the world's worst industrial disaster had moved a revision application before the district and sessions court, seeking permission to prosecute them again for harsher punishment.

Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) MP Tiwari had convicted the accused such as the then UCIL chairman Keshub Mahendra, the then managing director Vijay Gokhle, the then vice president Kishore Kamdar, the then works manager J Mukund, the then production manager SP Choudhary, the then plant superintendent KV Shetty, and the then production assistant of UCIL SI Quershi for two years imprisonment and a minor fine after 25 years long trial.

They were tried for the charges of causing death due to negligence under Section 304 (A) of IPC with a maximum punishment of two years jail term. The verdict triggered massive protests across the globe, especially among the surviving victims of the tragedy.

The state government and the Union government as a damage control exercise pressed the CBI to file revision petition demanding harsher punishment to the convicts. The district and sessions judge Sushma Khosla dismissed the revision petition while agreeing with the contention of the defence counsel Ajay Gupta that the prosecution (CBI) never made such demand during a lengthy trial leading to the conviction for two years each.

The then chairman of Union Carbide Corporation of USA Warren Anderson had escaped the trial as he could not be extradited to the country to stand trial. One of the accused tried for the offences, the then former Assistant Works Manager Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL), Mumbai, RB Roy Choudhary died during the trial.

The FIR in the tragedy was filed on December 3, 1984 and the case was transferred to CBI on December 6, 1984. The CBI filed the charge sheet after investigation on December 1, 1987.

Subsequently, the CJM framed charges against the accused under relevant Sections of the IPC including 304 II, Section 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons). The accused meanwhile moved the Apex Court leading to amendments in the charges diluting the case.

http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/MP-BHO-bhopal-gas-tragedy-court-lets-off-convicts-lightly-3712210-NOR.html


MP plea for longer term for accused


Milind Ghatwai : Bhopal
Jun 30 2010

The Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday filed an appeal in the District and Sessions Court seeking enhancement of the jail term awarded to the accused in the Bhopal gas tragedy.

A CJM court, had on June 7, convicted seven former officials of the Union Carbide India Limited, including the then non-executive chairman Keshub Mahindra, in the case.

Filed under Section 377 of CrPC, the state government has argued that not all deaths occurred simultaneously and so each death should be counted as a separate offence.

This was one of the recommendations of the six-member legal panel headed by Additional Solicitor General Vivek Tankha. The state government accepted all the recommendations of the panel formed a couple of days after the trial court’s verdict.

The state government also filed a revision plea under Section 397 (calling for records to exercise powers of revision) in the same court. The section empowers the Sessions Court to call and examine records of proceedings before an inferior court to satisfy itself about the correctness, legality or propriety of any finding.

The court will decide on the admissibility of the pleas on Wednesday. Deputy Director, Prosecution, Satish Dinkar, who filed the pleas, said if the CBI which was the prosecuting agency files similar appeals, the court could merge them.

The court on Wednesday also admitted the appeals filed by the seven accused challenging the trial court’s judgment. The defence lawyers had moved bail pleas of all the accused but the court said it would decide them on merit on Wednesday.

Keshub Mahindra’s lawyers while seeking bail argued that he being the non-executive chairman had no criminal liability. His lawyers also sought bail on grounds of Mahindra’s old age and
ill health.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/mp-plea-for-longer-term-for-accused/640226/0


Review set up page on the website of MP government has not been updated for years


http://www.mp.gov.in/bgtrrdmp/Review%20set%20up.htm

GROUP OF MINISTERS

The Government of India had constituted a Group of Ministers vide order dated 9.7.2004. The following are the members of the Group of Ministers for the monitoring and recommendation:-

Name and Designation
Shri Arjun Singh, Minister, Human Resource Development, Government of India, New Delhi
Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister, Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India, New Delhi
Shri Shishram Olah, Minster, Labour and Employment, Government of India, New Delhi
Shri Kamalnath, Minister, Commerce and Industries, Government of India, New Delhi
Shri H.R. Bharadwaj, Minister, Law and Legislative Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi
Shri Suresh Pachouri, State Minister, Personnel, Public Grievance, Pension and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi
Minister, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department, Bhopal

MONITORING COMMITTEE
The Hon'ble Supreme Court constituted a monitoring committee vide its order dated 18th August, 2004 in a Writ Petition No. 50/98 to monitor the facilities is being provided by the Government of Madhya Pradesh to the victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy. The following are the members and chairman of this committee at Government of India level:-

Name and Designation
Shri O.P. Mehra, Retd. M.P. State Service Chairman
Shri M.H. Kanhere, Retd. Professor, Medical College, Bhopal Member
Shri H.S. Trivedi, Retd. Professor, Medical College, Bhopal Member
Shri.Purnedu Shukla, Journalist Member
Director, Medical Education, Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal Member-Secretary

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Hon'ble Supreme Court constituted a monitoring committee vide its order dated 18th August, 2004 in a Writ Petition No. 50/98 to monitor the scientific research and recommend the future action to be taken on the research is being carried out by the Government of Madhya Pradesh on the victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy. The following are the members and chairman of this committee:-

Name and Designation
Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi Chairman
Dr. P.M. Bhargava, Molecular Biologist Member
Dr. C.C.Choubal, Former Professor of Medicine, Medical College, Bhopal Member
Dr. Shyam Agarwal, Oncologist, Bhopal Member
Dr. Deepak Mehta, Medical Practitioner, Bhopal Member
Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi Member
Chief Medical Officer, Gas Relief Member-Secretary
Nominated Members
Dr. N. Banerjee, Incharge, Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, Bhopal
Dr. Bela Shah, Additional Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi
Dr. D.K. Shukla, Sr. Deputy Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi

TASK FORCE COMMITTEE

The Hon'ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh constituted a Task Force Committee vide its order dated 30.3.2005 and 13.05.2005 in a Writ Petition No. 2802/2004 for the disposal of hazardous wastes lying in the campus of Union Carbide India Ltd., Bhopal. The following are the members and chairman of this committee:-

Name and Designation
Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Chairman
Shri N.K. Nyati, Head of the Department, Environment and Management Department, CII, New Delhi Member
Director, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology Member
Director, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute Member
Chairman, Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Bhopal Member
Nominee, Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi Member
Secretary, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal Coordinator

COORDINATION COMMITTEE

The Government of India had constituted a Coordination Committee to help and coordinate ongoing programmes going on for the welfare of Bhopal Gas Victims The following are the members and chairman of this committee:-

Name and Designation
Shri B.P. Pandey, Joint Secretary, Government of India, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Department, New Delhi Chairman
Shri Yashvir Singh, Deputy Secretary, Government of India, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Department, New Delhi Member
Shri M.M. Upadhyay, Principal Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department, Bhopal Member
Shri M.K.Varshney, Director, Gas Relief and Rehabilitation, Bhopal Member
Dr.N.P. Misra, Retd. Director, Medical Education, Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal Member
Dr.D.P. Agarwal, Chief Medical Officer, Gas Relief, Bhopal Member
Dr.N.Banerjee, Incharge, Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, Bhopal Member
Dr. D.K. Shukla, Deputy Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi member
Smt. Sadhana Karnik, Samyojak, Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangarsh Sahayog Samiti, Bhopal Member
Ku. Madhumita Dutt, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal Member
Shri Abdul Jabbar, Samyojak, Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan, Bhopal Member
Shri Satinath Sarangi, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, Bhopal Member

GAS PEEDITH KALYAN SAMITI

The Government of Madhya Pradesh constituted a committee to monitor and recommend the ongoing projects like Economic rehabilitation, Social rehabilitation, Environmental rehabilitation and allotment of vacant industrial sheds to Bhopal Gas Victims. The following are the members and chairman of this committee:-

Name and Designation
Shri Ramdayal Prajapati, Former Councilor, Municipal Corporation, Bhopal Member
Shri Ram Kishore Verma, Former Councilor, Municipal Corporation, Bhopal Member
Shri Sultan Abdul Aziz, Former Councilor, Municipal Corporation, Bhopal Member
Smt. Asha Jain, Former Councilor, Municipal Corporation, Bhopal Member
Shri Hasmukh Bhai Rupani, Former Councilor, Municipal Corporation, Bhopal Member
Shri Swaraj Puri, D.G.P. (Home Guard) Member
Government Nominees
Director, Gas Relief and Rehabilitation, Bhopal Member-Secretary
Collector, District Bhopal Member
Chief Medical Officer, Gas Relief, Bhopal Member
Principal, Gas Relief and Rehabilitation Training Institute, Bhopal Member
Executive Engineer, Capital Project Administration, Bhopal. Member
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