SC Asks MP HC To Constitute Bench Headed By Judge With Reasonable Tenure To Hear 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy Cases [Read Petition]

SC Asks MP HC To Constitute Bench Headed By Judge With Reasonable Tenure To Hear 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy Cases [Read Petition]

“In the working of the last 5 years, it is seen that the files connected with the Bhopal gas tragedy and rehabilitation are so voluminous, which is generally listed before the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the High Court or the senior-most Hon’ble Judges, who are generally transferred or elevated to this Hon’ble court within one year or before, and the petition is again listed before another senior-most Judge, and before taking appropriate steps, the petition is listed again before another new senior-most judge, seriously affecting effective implementation of the directions of this Hon’ble court, leading to resignation of doctors, resulting in miscarriage of justice,” the petition stated.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra has requested the Madhya Pradesh High Court to constitute a bench which will hear the cases relating to rehabilitation of victims in the cases related to the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

The bench, also comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud, clarified that the judge who would hear the pleas should have at least reasonable tenure so that they will be decided by the same bench.

Thus, the court disposed of the plea filed by the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Nurses’ Association (BMHNA).

The bench passed the order after petitioner’s counsel Wills Mathew submitted that although the apex court had transferred all related pleas to the high court in August 2012, nothing was happening in the cases in the high court.

It was stated that earlier in 2012, this court had requested the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court to ensure that the case is dealt with by a bench presided over by the chief justice himself or a bench presided over by the senior-most judge of that court or any other appropriate bench in accordance with the high court rules of that court or any special legislation governing the subject in that behalf.

“In the working of the last 5 years, it is seen that the files connected with the Bhopal gas tragedy and rehabilitation are so voluminous, which is generally listed before the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the High Court or the senior-most Hon’ble Judges, who are generally transferred or elevated to this Hon’ble court within one year or before, and the petition is again listed before another senior-most Judge, and before taking appropriate steps, the petition is listed again before another new senior-most judge, seriously affecting effective implementation of the directions of this Hon’ble court, leading to resignation of doctors, resulting in miscarriage of justice,” the petition stated.

On August 9,  2012,  this court transferred the writ petition along with all appeals to the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur requesting to exercise supervisory jurisdiction over the matter, directing the authorities concerned to take appropriate steps in all respects, not only to fill up the vacancies, but also to provide such infrastructure and facilities that the doctors are not compelled to or prefer to resign from BMHRC employment and its various departments due to inadequate facilities.

The Bhopal gas leak tragedy occurred at the midnight of 2nd December, 1984, when deadly chemical fumes emanated from Union Carbide Corporation factory claiming 2,600 human lives and leaving tens of thousands of innocent citizens of Bhopal physically affected in various ways.

Read the Petition Here