Bhopal gas leak case hearing from April 13

SC to take up compensation issue

A five-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said it would first hear the criminal petition filed by the CBI from April 13 and then the civil petition filed by the Centre seeking enhancement of compensation to the victims from Rs 750 crore to Rs 7,700 crore.

The Bench was hearing the curative petition in an open court in view of the public interest involved in the industrial disaster which claimed the lives of over 15,000 people and left thousands afflicted with dreaded diseases.

The court issued notices to Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), Dow Chemicals Company, Mcleod Russel India, which has 50.9 per cent share-holding in UCIL (Union Carbide India Ltd) and Eveready Industries Ltd.

The court sought their response on the plea made by Attorney General G E Vahanvati. It issued notices to the companies on another petition filed by the Centre seeking transfer of the writ petition pending before the Madhya Pradesh High Court since 2004 to the apex court. The plea raised the issue of environmental damage caused by the leakage of the poisonous gas.

The Bench, also comprising Justices Altamas Kabir, R V Raveendran, B Sudershan Reddy and Aftab Alam, did not allow senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Dow Chemicals Company, who wanted to oppose transfer petition, to make any submission on merit saying that it was only issuing notice.

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