Law of torts must be codified to avoid Bhopal rerun: Moily

Written by fe Bureaus | Kolkata | Updated: Jun 29 2010, 04:47am hrs
Union law minister Veerappa Moily on Sunday said the law of torts in India has to be fully codified to ensure that responsibility of mass destruction cannot be escaped.

Asked whether the ministry was thinking of incorporating new laws to prevent a Bhopal disaster aftermath repeat, Moily said section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code, which was used as the main guiding section in giving the verdict against the accused, could not but tackle the enormity of the Bhopal gas crisis, which was actually a case of mass human slaughter.

However, there are always scope for interpreting the law, Moily added.

Law of torts has to be fully codified to impose liability on individuals and corporates that becomes responsible for destruction and massacre, Moily said.

Tort is an area of law wherein the courts provide the remedy in response to a civil or even private wrong so that the victim regains the former status. In India, the law of torts is in a disarray, due to which corporates responsible for the Bhopal gas tragedy have been able to evade responsibilities of cleaning up the Union Carbide site even 26 years after the disaster.

Moily said even the countrys insurance laws were too limited to provide adequate insurance compensation to victims. The Union government, he said, was examining whether the insurance compensation for the victims could be increased within the existing scope of insurance law and whether the existing provisions of the Indian Penal Code could be further broadly interpreted for adequately punishing and penalising the accused.