In the Supreme Court, the central government was asked to present the correct figures of deaths and permanent injuries related to the Bhopal gas tragedy.
The purpose of which is to get fair compensation from the US corporations responsible for the gas tragedy. But the state government and the central government are yet to present these figures in the Supreme Court. On September 20, 2022, when the matter was heard in the Supreme Court, the Solicitor General told the 5 member bench that he is still waiting for the government’s direction.
Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group of Information and Action (BGIA), an organization fighting for gas victims for a long time, told the Ground Report that “the government is misleading the Supreme Court, it seem they do not want to tell the real number of gas victims in the court.”
Rachna tells that “even after 38 years, the victims of the world’s worst industrial tragedy have received compensation of only 25 thousand rupees for the sufferings of life, that too in installments.”
What is Bhopal Gas tragedy case in Supreme court?
In 2010, the central government itself admitted that the gas victims had received very little compensation, for which they themselves filed a petition in the Supreme Court for additional compensation from Dow Chemical. Along with that, 5 NGOs were also made co-petitioners in this case. But when the case came up for hearing after 11 years, the government did not appear serious in this matter, while the lawyers of NGOs presented the figures with full preparation. The next hearing of the matter is now to be held on October 11.
Rachna Dhingra says that the state and central governments are trying to prove in the court that those who have received 25 thousand compensation have suffered temporary injuries due to methyl isocyanate (MiC) gas, while gas relief hospital and scientific research data says that once exposed to methyl isocyanate (MiC) gas, people have problems for life. The number of victims of permanent injuries due to gas tragedy is 5 lakh 21 thousand, these people should get compensation. The death toll is not 5 thousand but 25 thousand which the government itself has already accepted.
The purpose of this whole fight is that after 38 years, gas victims can get the right compensation and those companies should get a lesson that by coming to the third world country, their responsibility does not end by paying a little compensation.
Signature campaign for justice
Five organizations fighting for justice for the gas victims are running a signature campaign, under which 1 lakh signatures will be sent to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. So that till the next hearing which is on October 11, the correct figures can be submitted to the Supreme Court. Organizations working for gas victims believe that because the number of victims is high, an additional compensation of Rs 646 billion should be collected from Union Carbide and Dow Chemical responsible for this tragedy, whereas the central government demanded only Rs 96 billion for this, which is quite low.
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