Madhya Pradesh HC orders state to provide free cancer treatment to victims of Bhopal gas tragedy

The highly toxic gas, methyl isocyanate, leaked from the then Union Carbide factory in Bhopal in the middle of the night of December 2 1984, killing more than 3,700 people and injuring more than 5.58 lakh others, according to the state government records.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has ordered the state government to give free treatment to the victims suffering from cancer due to the Bhopal gas tragedy at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bhopal.

The court declared the order on September 16, and a copy was made accessible on Wednesday.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice V K Shukla declared the direction while listening to petitions of the Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangthan and the Nagrik Upbhokta Margdarshak Manch asking for medical facilities for the victims of the disaster that took place in 1984.

The highly toxic gas, methyl isocyanate, leaked from the then Union Carbide factory in Bhopal in the middle of the night of December 2 and 3, 1984, killing more than 3,700 people and injuring more than 5.58 lakh others, according to the state government records. A monitoring board created by the Supreme Court to examine the issues concerning the gas tragedy victims recently presented its statement to the high court.

As per the court order, advocate Piyush Jain was present for the monitoring board and petitioned for time to file an answer to the action taken report registered by the state government and the one to be registered by the Union government.

“The counsels appearing for the monitoring committee submitted that the committee shall again inspect and give a specific report as to whether any improvement has taken place concerning the treatment and other facilities being provided to gas victims and other patients after the control of Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) was entrusted to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),” the court order said.

“In the meanwhile, it is directed that free of cost treatment be provided to the victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy, who are suffering from any of the cancers, in AIIMS, Bhopal, in the light of the recommendation made in the meeting convened by (MP) Additional Chief Secretary on June 17, 2021, the HC said in its order.

The court issued the matter for the next hearing on October 8.

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