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Bhopal Gas Tragedy: SC dismiss curative petition for more compensation

11:48 AM Mar 14, 2023 IST | Ground Report
bhopal gas tragedy  sc dismiss curative petition for more compensation

The Centre’s curative petition seeking additional compensation from Union Carbide Corporation for the victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy was rejected by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

However, the court instructed the Centre to utilize the Rs 50 crore funds held by RBI to address the claimants’ requirements.


The Bhopal gas tragedy occurred when a highly toxic gas, methyl isocyanate, was released from the Union Carbide plant, leading to the deaths of over 3,000 people and causing severe injuries to thousands more.

During the hearing, the successor firms of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) argued that the Indian government had never indicated at the time of the 1989 settlement that it was insufficient.


They also emphasized that the depreciation of the rupee since 1989 cannot be used as a basis for seeking additional compensation for the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy now.

After considering detailed arguments, a five-judge bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul reserved its verdict on January 12 regarding the Centre’s curative petition seeking an additional Rs 7,844 crore from the successor firms of UCC to provide greater compensation to the victims.


On Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected the curative petition.

It also criticized the Union government for its negligence and failure to acquire insurance policies to compensate the victims adequately, stating that it was a breach of the court’s judgment.


The Supreme Court held the Union of India responsible for not providing any justification for seeking to reopen the settlement through a curative petition. As a welfare state, it was the Union’s responsibility to compensate for the deficiency in compensation and to take out the appropriate insurance policy.

However, the court was surprised to learn that no such policy was taken out, which constituted gross negligence on the part of the Union and was in breach of the court’s judgment. Therefore, the court cannot hold UCC responsible for the Union’s negligence.

The bench stated that it was the responsibility of the Union to compensate for the deficiency in compensation and that the government cannot shift the blame to UCC. Live Law reported the bench’s remarks.

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