Bhopal gas tragedy: Justice S Ravindra Bhat recuses from hearing Centre’s plea for additional fund.

Supreme Court judge Justice S Ravindra Bhat on Tuesday recused himself from hearing the Centre’s plea seeking Rs 7,844 crore as additional fund from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation for giving compensation to the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy victims.

A five-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra adjourned the hearing till Wednesday and said Chief Justice of India S A Bobde would take a call on composition of the bench to hear the matter.

“We will not take it up today. We are waiting for CJI’s order,” said the bench also comprising justices Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R Shah and Bhat.

Expressing his unwillingness to be part of the bench to hear the matter, Justice Bhat said, “I had appeared for the union of India in the matter when union had sought review”.

The Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), now owned by Dow Chemicals, gave a compensation of USD 470 million (Rs 715 crore at the time of settlement) after the toxic gas leak from the Union Carbide factory on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984 killed over 3,000 people and affected 1.02 lakh more.

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