Supreme Court rejects Centre's plea for more compensation from Carbide's successor firms - Ashmit Kumar

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published Published on Mar 14, 2023   modified Modified on Mar 14, 2023


The Supreme Court rejected the Centre's curative plea for enhanced compensation for the victims of the 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy from US-based firm Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). The court rather asked the government to utilise a sum of Rs 50 crore lying with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to satisfy pending claims of victims.

The government had sought an additional Rs 7,844 crore from the UCC successor firms to extend higher compensation to the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy that killed over 3,000 people and caused environmental damage. The Centre's move came after it opposed previous attempts by private parties to seek additional compensation. The Supreme Court pull up the government for raking up the issues two decades after the settlement was achieved and said, "We are equally dissatisfied..." 

In 2010, the Centre filed a curative plea in the Supreme Court, seeking additional compensation of Rs 7,844 crore from Union Carbide, now owned by Dow Chemicals, for the victims.
The case was heard by a five-judge-bench of Supreme Court, headed by Justice SK Kaul.

Dow Chemicals opposed the Centre's plea for additional compensation and argued that the government had not raised any objection when the settlement was finalised. It said the question of "top up" does not arise.

In 1989, Union Carbide had paid a compensation of $ 470 Million (Rs. 715 cr) after toxic gas release killed over 3000, affected over 1 lakh people.

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Ashmit Kumar, CNBC-TV18, 14 March, 2023,

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