NEW DELHI: Modifying its 2012 order, the Supreme Court today asked the Madhya Pradesh High Court chief justice to constitute a dedicated bench to hear matters related to relief, rehabilitation and treatment of the Bhopal gas tragedy victims.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that the dedicated bench should comprise judges having "reasonable tenure" of service.
Advocate Wills Mathew, appearing for the petitioner, Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan, said that the apex court had in its order on August 9, 2012, passed various directions and transferred petitions related to relief and rehabilitation of the gas tragedy victims to the high court.
He submitted that the top court had said in one of its directions that the petitions should be dealt with by a bench presided over by the chief justice of the high court.
Mathew said in the past five years, various chief justices of the high court, who heard the matter, were transferred to other high courts or elevated to the apex court.
He said that the transfer or elevation of different chief justices had affected the hearing of the cases as also the proper implementation of the relief measures.
On August 9, 2012, the apex court had transferred the petitions to the high court for better and effective control in the matter.
"All applications filed henceforth shall be dealt with and disposed of by the bench concerned of the high court, in line with the various orders passed by this Court, so as to ensure proper functioning of the relief and rehabilitation programme, working of the expert bodies and utmost medical care and treatment to the gas victims", the apex court had said.
It had passed a slew of directions such as the state should provide necessary infrastructure to the monitoring committee.