JABALPUR: Madhya Pradesh high court on Wednesday stayed proceedings against the then superintendent of police of Bhopal Swaraj Puri in the Bhopal Gas disaster case. Puri along with the then then district collector Moti Singh were accused of aiding the former chairman of Union Carbide Corporation, Warren Anderson to escape from Bhopal.
A single bench of high court comprising justice S K Palo along stayed the proceedings of lower court and scheduled the hearing of the case on November 9, while hearing an appeal filed by Puri.
Earlier on February 7, 2017, court of chief judicial magistrate, Bhopal had issued bailable arrest warrants against both the retired bureaucrats.
Issuing bailable warrants, CJM Bhubhaskar Yadav had also imposed a bail bond of Rs 5,000 on the two former officials.
The warrant was issued after the accused failed to appear before the court for the second consecutive hearing. During the hearing on November 20, 2016 on a petition filed by Abdul Jabbar, an activist working for the Bhopal gas victims’, the CJM court had directed both the officials to present themselves before the court.
However, after this they (the retired bureaucrats) had filed a revision petition before the additional district and sessions judge and Puri later moved a petition before the high court.
On November 19, 2016, court of chief judicial magistrate Bhoobhaskar Yadav had ordered that a case be registered under Sections 212 (harbouring or concealing a person believed to be an offender), 217 (public servant disobeying an order to save a person from punishment) and 221 (intentional omission to apprehend) of the IPC against the then superintendent of police Swaraj Puri and the then collector Moti Singh, while hearing a petition filed by Jabbar and Khan who are fighting for rights of gas victims.