Gas Welfare office yet to receive SC order
Central Chronicle, 15th March 2001


BHOPAL MARCH 14: The Bhopal Gas Welfare commissioner office is in utter confusion about what step should be taken in compliance to the recent Supreme Court order, as the office is yet to receive the copy of the order.

The Supreme Court had given its judgement on Bhopal gas victims on March 4 last. The court had reportedly directed the state government to invite fresh applications from such gas victims whose claims for compensation have been rejected on technical grounds. However the delay in receiving the copy of the court order is believed to be due to holidays in court. According to sources, the court was closed for 10 days.

At present, 31 claim courts are functional in the town. In the beginning, the state government had ordered 56 claim courts but due to non-availability of Civil Judges class one, only 41 were functional.

After bifurcation of the state, when a few more judges went to Chhattisgarh, the number of claim claim courts went down to 31.

KC Sharma, additional welfare commissioner, when contacted, admitted that the office has not received the Supreme Court order so far. But he said that as soon as the order was received, it would be complied in toto. "First we would have to see, what the directives have been issued by the Apex court", he added.

However, the Gas Peedit Udyhyog Sangathan convenor, Abdul Jabbar has claimed that as many as 1,00,000 cases are yet to be settled, which include 80,000 rejected due to non-appearance of victims and 20,000 others are missing.

The additional welfare commissioner informed that as on February 29, the claim courts had only 13,319 cases in pending.

He said that now foolproof arrangement has been made in the welfare commissioner office and every data is computerised. "Duplicate folders are issued to the victims, who approach the office with genuine evidence", he said.