SC reopens Bhopal case

SC reopens Bhopal case

1996 verdict

IPC section 304A: causing death by negligence—two years in prison

2010 reopened case

IPC section 304: culpable homicide not amounting to murder—possible 10 years in prison

• The Supreme Court reopened the Bhopal gas tragedy case on Tuesday after accepting a curative petition by the Central Bureau of Investigation

• In 1996, the apex court had passed a judgement in the case under section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)—causing death by negligence—which has a maximum punishment of two years in prison. Many say political pressures led to dilution of charges against the accused

• A special bench comprising Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and justices Altamas Kabir and R.V. Raveendran heard the curative petition at an in-chamber proceeding

• Keshub Mahindra and six others, who were employees of Union Carbide India at the time of the gas leak, have been issued notices to respond by the court

• The petition has been filed under section 304 of the IPC that deals with culpable homicide not amounting to murder

• If the case against the accused succeeds, they can each be given a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison with a fine determined by the court