Bhopal: A sessions court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by Madhya Pradesh government seeking increase in quantum of punishment awarded by a trial court to former officials of now-defunct Union Carbide plant, in connection with 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

District and sessions court Judge Sushma Khosla rejected the state government's plea challenging the conviction of then chairman of Union Carbide, Keshub Mahindra, ex-managing director Vijay Gokhle among others under section 304 A (causing death by negligence) of Indian Penal Code, on the ground that the case lacks merit.

The state government in its application also sought the conviction of former Union Carbide vice president Kishore Kaamdar, works manager J Mukund, production manager S P Choudhary, plant superintendent K V Shetty and plant operator, S I Qureshi, besides Mahindra and Gokhale under section 304 part II of IPC for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which provided for a maximum sentence of 10-year imprisonment.

The court of then Chief Judicial Magistrate Mohan P Tiwari in its verdict on June 7, 2010 had handed down two-year rigorous imprisonment to the accused and also imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on each of them. The court had also slapped fine of Rs five lakh on Union Carbide.

All of them were later released on bail. The state government had moved the sessions court after NGOs fighting for the cause of survivors of tragedy and other stake-holders raised a hue and cry over the "inadequate" quantum of punishment.

Over 15,000 people had died and lakhs maimed in the worst industrial disaster in world history, following leak of a poisonous gas from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal on the intervening nights of December 2-3 in 1984.


Latest News from Madhya Pradesh News desk