SC fiat to invite fresh claims from gas victims
Central Chronicle, 3rd March 2001


NEW DELHI, MARCH 2: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Madhya Pradesh Government to invite fresh applications from the Bhopal gas disaster victims, whose applications for compensation have been rejected by the Registrar Claims Court on technical grounds. A three-member bench comprising Justice VN Kirpal, Justice Durai Swamy Raju and Justice Ms Rupa Paul on a petition filed by the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan directed the government to publish the list of claimants in the local newspapers whose applications have been rejected on technical grounds and they should be given an opportunity to file fresh claims within 60 days after the publication of the list. S Murlidhar, advocate for Sangathan told the court that even 16 years after the disaster, the victims could not get any compensation. It's strange that the compensation was also pending since several years  and being transferred from one court to another and the victims were never informed, he added. On this the bench wanted to know the real position in Bhopal from Additional Solicitor General, who said that more then 10 lakh applications were received seeking compensation, while the actual population of Bhopal at the time of the disaster was only 8 lakh. This indicates how many bogus claims have been filed.