New Delhi, May 2: The Supreme Court today ordered that Rs 37.62 crores lying with the chief judicial magistrate Bhopal belonging to Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) be released to Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust, which is exclusively meant for the treatment of Bhopal gas-leak victims.
A division bench of Justice B N Srikrishna and Justice R V Raveendran further ordered to release the amount lying attached in the State Bank of India's main branch on Parliament Street in New Delhi -- to the BHMT.
The term of the Trust exclusively meant for the treatment of Bhopal gas victims -- was due to expire in 2008, as per the Supreme Court order, dated April 3, 1996.
Appearing for the Trust, headed by Justice A M Ahmedi, senior counsel R K Jain pleaded that highly qualified doctors were not willing to join the hospital in view of the uncertainity about its existence.
Meanwhile, Central government informed the court that 57 FIRs had already been lodged against people filing bogus claims for the compensation after the tragedy, which claimed over 3,000 lives in December 1984.
Of about 5.72 lakh cases of claims, the government says, 31,000 cases for disbursement are still pending as the victims are not traceable.
The apex court also adjourned the hearing of an application, seeking to enhance the amount of compensation, till the summer session gets over. The original settlement amount was 447 million dollars.
UCC chief Waren M Anderson was declared proclaimed offender by the CJM Bhopal after he failed to appear in the court to face trail for criminal negligence.