The Madhya Pradesh High Court has stayed the proceedings of criminal complaint pending against former Director General of Police Swaraj Puri at a CJM court in Bhopal, accusing him and former district collector of releasing main accused Warren Anderson in Bhopal gas tragedy case.
Abdul Jabbar, convener of the Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangthan, and Shahnawaz Khan had filed a criminal complaint case at the CJM court in Bhopal against Swaraj Puri and Moti Singh accusing them of releasing Warren Anderson, chairman of Union Carbide Corporation, and helping him to flee India by misusing their power and position, thus, violating the law of land.
Anderson was accused no. 10 in the criminal case no. 1104/1984 registered at police station Hanumanganj, Bhopal, pertaining to the gas tragedy.
Swaraj Puri was then superintendent of police, while Moti Singh was then district collector of Bhopal when Anderson visited Bhopal.
The respondents filed the criminal complaint against Puri and Singh under sections 212, 217 and 221 of the IPC.
The petitioner challenged the criminal case on ground that the respondents filed the criminal case on the basis of book published by Moti Singh and the material published in the book of the co-accused cannot be treated as evidence.
The petitioner took the plea that the matter pertains to an incident that took place 33 years ago and no one ever raised any finger on the act or conduct of the petitioner as superintendent of police.
The Bhopal gas tragedy took place on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984 between 00.30 hours and 00.45 hours when highly toxic gas called methyl iso-cynite (MIC) leaked from Tank No. E-610 of Union Carbide India Ltd plant in Bhopal.
As a result of this leakage, 3,828 persons lost their lives, including children and women.
While permanent injuries were caused to 18,922 persons, temporary disablement was suffered by 7,172 persons, temporary disablement was caused by permanent injury to 1,313 persons and permanent partial disablement to 2,680 persons.
While 40 persons suffered from permanent total disablement, the death toll of animals was 2,544.
Justice Sushil Kumar Palo ordered: “Meanwhile, it is directed that the proceeding in criminal complaint case pending before CJM Bhopal shall remain stayed till next date of hearing.”
The court issued notices to the respondents.
Read the Order Here