Sick berth

  • 30/05/2006

Sick berth Overruling objections of groups representing Bhopal gas victims, the Supreme Court on May 2, 2006, sanctioned Rs 37.65 crore to the Bhopal Memorial Trust. The trust administers the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (bmhrc) and had demanded the money to ensure better functioning of this institute, set up specifically for victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy. The apex court's ruling came after a year during which the bhmrc was racked by doctors' strikes, and faced allegations of impropriety.

On April 12, 2006, the court took note of some such charges and permitted victims' representatives to scrutinise bmhrc and trust accounts. The investigations revealed that the trust did not maintain an inventory of assets and also did not have details of patients treated at the bmhrc. Besides, funds had also not been transferred to the trust by its earlier London-based avatar (see box: Trust timeline ) But in its judgment, the apex court set aside these objections.

What about accountability?
A Supreme Court ruling has kept bmhrc and the trust that runs it