Background to the Curative Petition for Additional Compensation

Compensation to Bhopal gas victims: will justice ever be done? Indian Journal of Ethics Article, 2012

Important documents


  • Govt. of India, Minutes of the Meeting, 2010
    It was in this meeting it was decided that a curative petition for additional compensation should be filed in the Supreme Court against Union Carbide & Dow Chemical. the Group of Ministers on Bhopal (composed of ministers from both the state and central governments) agreed that the legal rights to adequate compensation of the victims of the Union Carbide disaster had been violated due mostly to the incorrect figures of deaths and injuries attributable to the disaster.


  • Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, Memorandum on Plan of Action, 2008
    This document clearly states figures of death and injury that the MP government used to estimate funds needed for their plan of action.
    The POA of BGTRRD mentioned a figure of 5000 as the number of women have been widowed by the disaster. It does not require an expert in demography to assert that if the real figures of all single males, single or married females and children who died due to the disaster were added to this figure the total number of deaths caused by UC in Bhopal would exceed 20,000


  • Intervention Petition of Survivor Organizations
  • Criminal Curative Petition by Govt. of MP, 2011
    The survey of Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation said 15,248 people have died and thousands of people are temporarily & permanently disabled as a result of gas leak. In the curative petition the BGTRR, GOMP claimed that only 5295 have died as a result of the disaster. This is an example of how GOMP contradicts its own official position when it comes to protecting the interest of UCC & Dow



  • MIC Safety Report, 1974
    Union Carbide Corporation’s (UCC) recently uncovered 1974 “Safety Considerations Report” for the Methyl Isocyante (MIC) Unit at Bhopal notes that “MIC is a hazardous material by all means of contact” (p.22). Specifically a. UCC gave MIC the most dangerous rating of 5 – “Major residual injury is likely in spite of prompt treatment” (p.16) – for the exposure routes “breathing” or “eye” b. UCC gave MIC the second most dangerous rating of 4 – “Major residual injury may result in spite of prompt treatment” (p.16) – for the exposure route “skin irritation uncovered.” c. Conclusion: UCC knew that all exposure injuries resulting from the 1984 disaster were likely to cause “major residual injury.”


  • Rolf Towe Document
    Correspondence uncovered in 2011 through RTI show that UCC and the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers (March 4 1985) show that UCC proposed it’s own compensation scheme to the Ministry. a. Crucially, despite the foreknowledge indicated above, UCC included in the categorization “The claimant aforesaid has suffered physical/mental injury, and the same has been treated, and the same has not deteriorated into a permanent injury.” This exact wording was incorporated into the categorization forms that doctors in Bhopal used when examining patients.
    Conclusion: UCC created a temporary injury category despite knowing that all injury was likely to be permanent. There is no such thing as a temporary injury when it comes to Bhopal gas disaster.



  • Kamalnath and Chidambaram Letters (pages 27-32 and 40-42)
  • 16. Letter from Chief Minister of MP to the Prime Minister, 2011 – In Hindi (original) and English
    On January 8, 2012 the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh wrote to the Prime Minister that as per records of the Government of Madhya Pradesh, 15,342 people have died as a result of the gas disaster and 5,21,332 people exposed to the toxic gas suffer from permanent not temporary injury, as presented in the Curative Petition. The Chief Minister also urged the Prime Minister that the issue of adequate compensation to victims of the Bhopal disaster should be viewed in a positive manner. Yet when it comes to changing the figures in its own petition GOMP stand in the SC is that only 5295 have died as a result of the disaster.

Other documents/enclosures:

  • Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Report, 2001 Govt. of MP (Hindi)
  • Factsheet on Injury
  • Questions to BGTRR Dec 2011 (english)
    These are a set of important questions that we posed to the government and we never got any response to any of these.
  • Letter to PM on amendment of curative petition, Dec 2018
  • Letter to CS on changing figures in curative petition, Jan 2019
    These letters have been written by the survivor groups and we have not received any response on most of them.
  • Enclosure on proposal for funds needed by Govt. of MP, 2010
    In 2010, Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation sought a corpus fund of Rs. 500 Crores from the Government of India to strengthen and augment its medical facilities for gas victims. As per this proposal the number of survivors with exposure induced chronic respiratory disorders alone is 100, 000. As per the same document “25 to 30 % of the survivors have neurological and mental illnesses as a consequence of the disaster”. Further the same document mentions that 23 years after the disaster incidence of Lung, Eye, GIT and general morbidities was 4 to 5 times higher than a matched unexposed population.
    So how can it be that 95% of Bhopal victims (5,22,000) are suffering from minor injury because the definition of minor injury category is “someone who went to hospital for only one day”. This category scheme was designed by Union Carbide and agreed by Govt of India and that is where the definition of minor injury is stated. It can bee seen in the ROLF TOWE document.

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