1. SC adjourns hearing of curative plea in Bhopal gas case
The Bhopal gas case saw a delay when the Supreme Court adjourned a hearing of the government’s curative petition seeking enhanced compensation from the victims.
The hearing was adjourned after Justice S Ravindra Bhat, one of the judges on the Constitution Bench withdrew from the case.
The 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy is considered the worst industrial disaster in the world, killing more than 16,000 from the after-effects of the gas leak from the Union Carbide factory. 3787 died on the night of December 2, 1984. 5,58,128 were injured (non-fatally) in the incident.
The government has asked for an additional compensation, over and above the $470 million that the company had finally paid in the case.
The judge, Justice S Ravindra Bhat has recused himself for the case as he had appeared as legal counsel for the government earlier. His presence could cause a situation of conflict of interest.
2. 14 sentenced to life in Gujarat riots case granted interim bail
The Supreme Court granted bail to 14 persons convicted for killing 33 people in Gujarat’s Anand district (Sardarpura massacre) during 2002 post Godhra riots.
The court granted them interim bail, pending appeals against their life sentences.
The convicts were held guilty in the Sardarpura massacre of 2002. 33 persons from the Muslim community were burnt alive at Sardarpura village in Vijaypur Tehsil of Mehsana district on the night of Feb 28, 2002.This happened exactly a day after the Godhra train carnage where 59 people were burnt alive in the train returning from Ayodhya.The persons who were burnt alive were karsevaks.
After their bail, the court has directed them to be shifted outside Gujarat in 2 groups, one to be sent to Indore and another one to Jabalpur. They have been asked to do spiritual and social work.
The court also directed social services authorities to find some work for them so that they can earn their livelihood as all of them are first time offenders and hold no other criminal record against them. They can’t leave the above mentioned districts without the Courts permission too.
3. Review of mercy plea rejection is limited
In a case what appears to be delaying their death sentence, another convict in the Nirbhaya case convict has filed a review against the rejection of his mercy plea by President Ram Nath Kovind.Death row convict, Mukesh Kumar Singh (32) has filed for a review petition under Article 32 for a judicial review of the mercy plea rejected by the President.
On January 17, President Ram Nath Kovind had rejected the mercy plea for Mukesh Singh, one of the convicts in the brutal rape and murder of a 23-year-old Para medical student.
The convicts were to be hanged on 22nd Jan earlier but after filing the mercy plea on January 17, the sentence was moved to February 1 after the rejection of plea by the President.
The Delhi police ordered fresh warrants for death for all the 4 convicts for Feb 1 at 6 am.
Mukesh Singh moved the mercy petition after the apex court dismissed his curative petition against the death sentence .The curative petition of even another convict Vinay Kumar was also rejected.
The bench also dismissed and rejected the plea to stay execution of death sentence.
6 accused were arrested and charged with a brutal murder and rape of a 23-year-old medical student (nicknamed Nirbhaya by media and activists) on the night of December 16. Out of the 6, 2 escaped the conviction and death sentence - one was a minor at the time of the crime and sent to the juvenile justice system. The other committed suicide while he was in jail ahead of his trial.
The rest of the 4 were sentenced to death in 2013 which was confirmed by Delhi high court in 2014 and upheld by Supreme Court in 2017 which also dismissed their review petitions. The 4 are now to be hanged on February 1 at 6 am now.
4. Air India waiting for the nod from Beijing to evacuate Indians
A Boeing 747 from Air India is awaiting clearance from the government and Chinese authorities to go ahead. The plan here is to evacuate nearly 250 Indians who are stuck in Wuhan, after the area was quarantined, following an outbreak of the corona virus epidemic.
The airline is waiting for a green signal from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of External affairs as the jumbo jet has to fly in a virus outbreak city.
Air India has kept a 423-seater jumbo in a ready state to evacuate Indians from Wuhan after an outbreak of the corona virus in the East Asian country. The nod from the Health Ministry is required as the flight has to operate in the virus outbreak territory.
Corona virus is one deadly member of a large family of viruses and has symptoms similar to that of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
SARS has already claimed thousands of lives in China earlier too.
The Ministry of External affairs is also tying up with the Chinese authorities for the evacuation of the nations which mostly includes the medical students.
Wuhan and 11 other cities have been sealed by the Chinese authorities to stop the virus from spreading. The death toll has risen to 130 now with 2,744 infected with the same. Indians stuck over there are fearing their well being too.
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