Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Bhopal Gas Leak Verdict

On 7/6/2010 CJM Mohan P. Tiwari delivered judgment in Bhopal gas leak case. All the accused were sentenced to two years imprisonment and were released on bail.
Many say justice is not done. The gas leak happened in December 1984. CBI filed the chargesheet in 1987. In 1996 the Supreme Court reduced the culpable homicide not amounting to murder charge to death due to negligence charge for which maximum punishment is two years imprisonment.
Two years imprisonment for 20,000 deaths? That is what many people ask. The exact number of dead is not known. In 1984 the number was said to be 50,000. The gas leak affected many people, one figure puts it at 5,00,000. There was environmental damage.
The Supreme Court had worked out a settlement, some call it an out of court settlement, and Union Carbide had paid 470 million dollars towards compensation. Many say the damage was not fully known.
CBI is blamed by some. CBI is it could not have done more.
Indian law needs to change. Punishment has to be consecutive. If punishment for one death due to negligence is two years imprisonment for 20,000 deaths it has to be 40,000 years imprisonment.
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