September 20, 2022
Five organizations of the survivors of the Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal have condemned the Indian government for failing to prepare for the Curative Petition that began to be heard in the Supreme Court today. They demanded that the government use the three weeks till the next hearing to ensure that the actual damage caused by the disaster is factually represented before the five judge bench.
“The Solicitor General informed the five judges in the Supreme Court today that he is still waiting for instructions from the government. In the 11 years since the petition was submitted no Indian government has yet filed a single additional argument to protect the legal rights of half a million Bhopal survivors. This government must show that it does in fact care about half a million of its most vulnerable citizens,” said Rashida Bee, Goldman Environmental Prize awardee and President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh.
“The next hearing on this matter is scheduled for October 11” said Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information & Action. “We hope that the government uses the time to correct the figures of death and extent of injury caused by the disaster so that the judges are not misled about the actual damage caused by the disaster.”
“We are co-petitioners in this matter with the Indian government and despite our meagre resources our lawyer was there in court prepared with facts and arguments for compensation of 646 billion rupees from Union Carbide and Dow Chemical. What is stopping the government from providing timely instructions to its lawyer?”, said Balkrishna Namdeo of Bhopal Gas Peedit Nisrashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha,
“In every matter concerning justice in the last 38 years, the survivors have had to push the government of the day to act against the criminal corporation and in this matter too we will not rest till justice is done.’ Said Nawab Khan of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha.
Nousheen Khan of Children Against Dow-Carbide expressed hope that the government will now find time to look at the several scientific studies that have documented health damage in children born to gas exposed parents and claim compensation on behalf of them. “In its present form, the government’s Curative Petition does not even mention the health damage to an entire generation born after the disaster.”
|Nawab Khan, Shezadi Bee & Nasreen,
|Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
|Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
|Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha
|Bhopal Group for Information and Action
|Children Against Dow Carbide