Bhopal Gas Victims' Organisations Condemn SC's Dismissal of a Curative Petition Seeking Additional Compensation
Five organisations who work with the victims of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal jointly condemned the Supreme Court's dismissal of a curative petition about the additional compensation in the case.
The organisations likened the decision to the apex court's February 1989 ruling on the case settlement, calling it a "judicial assault on the constitutional and legal rights of the Bhopal survivors." Furthermore, the organisations have resolved to continue their struggle for justice till all survivors are adequately compensated.
Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationary Karmchari Sangh, said, "The Bhopal victims were denied their day in court because of the pro-corporate bias of the Supreme Court bench. The counsel for Union Carbide, which continues to abscond from charges of culpable homicide, was given ample time to speak by the bench. In contrast, the counsel for the survivors' organisations was only heard for 45 minutes. The bench believes in a 'fugitive entitlement doctrine'."
Balkrishna Namdeo, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha, said that the Supreme Court judges dismissed the case because it "must attain finality in line with the wishes of the corporate counsel."
"How can you impose finality when the corporation's crimes continue to victimise people when gas-affected people continue to die untimely from cancers and other exposure-induced chronic diseases? How can you do it when the criminal remains absconding, and the suffering of its victims, including their progeny, continues? How can a Supreme Court bench draw the curtain over the injustice in Bhopal?" Namdeo asked.
Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information & Action condemned the Supreme Court for deliberately ignoring arguments and facts presented by the survivors' organisations.
"We presented official figures of injury and death analysed by an international expert on epidemiology that proved the 1989 settlement has perpetrated a gross miscarriage of justice, but the Supreme Court bench chose to blind themselves to it. The bench said that only an argument of fraud could reopen that settlement while ignoring our counsel's detailed submissions on the fraud committed by Union Carbide to procure the settlement of 1989," Dhingra said.
Nawab Khan, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, said they would not accept the injustice delivered by the Supreme Court.
"We fought and won against the injustice of the settlement of 1989 and will resume our fight again. We will fight in the court and on the streets until justice is done in the World's worst corporate massacre," he said.
Nousheen Khan of Children Against Dow Carbide said, "Today's decision exposes the perversity of the Supreme Court bench that took the government to task for ignoring the health impact on the next generation but failed to hold the corporation accountable for the crime against the unborn."
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