No early hearing of plea to hike compensation for Bhopal gas tragedy: SC

New Delhi, Jan. Jan 28 : Declining an early hearing of the Centre's 2011 curative petition seeking enhancing the compensation by Rs 7,844.22 crore for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy victims, the Supreme Court on Monday said it will hear the plea to reopen the 1989 settlement in April.

Declining an early hearing of the curative petition, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said that they would hear in April the Centre's application for an early hearing of the curative petition that was filed way back in February 2011.

The notice on the curative petition seeking enhancement of compensation by Rs 7,844.22 crore for the 1984 victims was issued on February 28, 2011.

As one of the lawyer told the bench that they have also moved an application, the bench said that that too along with the curative petition will be heard in the last week of April.

Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, appearing for the Centre, told that some hearing had already taken place on the curative petition seeking the re-opening of 1989 compensation determined by the apex court in 1989.

The curative petition had sought the enhancement of compensation on the grounds that the settlement arrived in 1989 was based on the "assumptions of truth unrelated to realities".

The curative petition had said that the revised amount sought in 2010 was on account of devaluation of rupee, interest rate and purchasing power parity and inflation index.

Besides this, the plea for enhanced compensation was based on the large number of people who were killed and suffered injuries on account of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

At the time of calculating earlier compensation, the number of dead were taken to be 3,000, which subsequently turned out to be 5,295.

Similarly the victims with minor injuries were taken as 50,000 which eventually turned out to 527,895.

The total revised amount that was sought in the petition was US (Dollar) 1,241.38 million as on August 22, 2010.

The basis of the calculating this amount was that the compensation awarded in February 1989 was Rs 675.96 crore.

When converted into US (Dollar) at the then prevailing rate, it would become (Dollar) 442. 67 million.

The petition had contended that if the said amount had remained invested in the US on yearly basis and based on London Inter-Bank Offered Rates, it would have become (Dollar) 1,241.38 million as on August 22, 2010.

In rupee terms, the amount came to Rs 5,786.07 crore.

The amount of compensation to be paid in 2010 varies based on the parameters of calculating it.

Besides the enhanced component of compensation of Rs 5,786.07 crore, the other two components were the reimbursement of Rs 1,743.15 crore which the Central government and the Madhya Pradesh government had spent in the aftermath of the tragedy for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims.

The third component was Rs 315.7 core, which the curative petition had said was spent on the handling of the toxic waste including its sensitization.



Source: IANS