Come out with correct figures of Bhopal tragedy: SC to Govt
New Delhi, Aug 23 (UNI) The Supreme Court today directed the Centre to come out with correct figures of the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy within four weeks.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justices C K Thakker and P K Balasuramanyan issued the directions after conflicting claims were made by the petitioners challenging the 470 million dollar settlement between the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and the Centre in 1989.
The settlement is being challenged by the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Sanghthan on the grounds that the number of dead at the time of the settlement was said to be about 3000 which further rose to 5207.
''Similarly, the number of injured was estimated to be 1 20,000 by the government which increased by at least five times to 5,54,895 and the government too has admmitted this,'' the petitioners added.
Government counsel however, submitted that the total population of Bhopal at the time of occurrence of the tragedy on the intervening night of December 3-4 1984 was about eight lakh while claims have been filed on behalf of 10,01,723.
The court permitted the government to drop names of those claimanants who are not traceable at their given addresses.
The court will also pass appropriate orders for release of Rs 37 crore which are attached with the chief judicial magistrate trying the case of criminal negligence against the UCC officials inlcuding its chairman who has been declared an absconder by the court.
UNI AKS/SC AK HT1927