SC dismisses CBI’s curative petition on Bhopal gas tragedy

Court says investigative agency and Madhya Pradesh government failed to explain satisfactorily the need for such a plea after 14 years

New Delhi: In an apparent setback to the campaign by those seeking stringent punishment for the accused in the Bhopal gas disaster, the Supreme Court today dismissed the curative petition by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against an earlier apex court judgement that apparently diluted charges against the accused.

A five-judge constitutional bench headed by chief justice SH Kapadia, however, left a window of opportunity open, saying that its order would not influence the pending proceedings before the Sessions Court against the chief judicial magistrate's judgement awarding two years sentence to the accused, including Union Carbide India chairman Keshub Mahindra.

The judges said the CBI and the Madhya Pradesh government had failed to give a satisfactory explanation on filing the curative petition after a lapse of 14 years. The other judges on the bench were Altamas Kabir, RV Raveendran, B Sudershan Reddy and Aftab Alam, PTI reports.

The CBI and the Madhya Pradesh government filed the curative petition after a public outcry over what was considered as a mild punishment for the gas tragedy that claimed over 15,000 lives in December 1984 and maimed several thousands.

In 1996, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by then chief justice AH Ahmadi, diluted the charges against the accused, avoiding section 304 Part II of the Indian Penal Code that provides for a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and instead applying section 304(A) for rash and negligent act that has a maximum punishment of only two years.

The CBI and the Madhya Pradesh government have filed revision petitions before the Sessions Court and against the judgement of the chief judicial magistrate, Bhopal, which had awarded the two years jail term for various accused.


Facebook users’ account details inadvertently leaked: Symantec

Third parties, in particular advertisers, have accidentally had access to Facebook users’ accounts, including profiles, photographs and chat, and also had the ability to post messages and mine personal information

New York: Hundreds of thousands of Facebook users’ account details could have been “inadvertently” leaked to third parties, in particular advertisers, over the years, according to data security solutions provider Symantec.

“Symantec has discovered that in certain cases, Facebook IFRAME applications inadvertently leaked access tokens to third parties like advertisers or analytic platforms,” Symantec Corp said in its official blog.

According to a PTI report, third parties, in particular advertisers, have accidentally had access to Facebook users’ accounts, including profiles, photographs and chat, and also had the ability to post messages and mine personal information.

“We estimate that as of April, 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage. We estimate that over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of ‘access tokens’ to third parties,” the blog post added.

Access tokens are like ‘spare keys’ granted by a Facebook user to the Facebook application. Applications can use these tokens or keys to perform certain actions on behalf of the user or to access the user’s profile.

“Fortunately, these third—parties may not have realised their ability to access this information,” the blog post said.

Facebook has been informed of this development and has taken corrective action to help eliminate this issue. “Facebook was notified of this issue and has confirmed this leakage. Facebook notified us of changes on their end to prevent these tokens from getting leaked,” the blog post said.


SC vacates gag on media against publication of Amar Singh phone tapes

Court says politician suppressed facts; free to file case against Reliance Infocomm which tapped his phone

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today lifted its gag order on the media that restrained it from broadcasting and publishing contents of taped conversations of former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh with some top politicians and Bollywood stars.

A bench of judges GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly dismissed Mr Singh’s petition and vacated its interim order passed of 27th February that had restrained the media from making the contents of the conversation public.

The bench said that there had been suppression of facts by the politician before the court in the case. However, the Court said that the politician could file a case against Reliance Infocomm for illegally tapping his phone, reports PTI.

Judge Ganguly, who wrote the judgement, said that no case was made out against the Centre and its authorities as they were not involved in tapping Mr Singh’s phone.

The bench had reserved its verdict on the petition on 29th March after hearing Mr Singh and the non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), which opposed the plea and sought a direction to make public all the tapped conversations.

Mr Singh, who was Samajwadi Party general secretary at the time when his telephones were tapped, had accused the Congress party and private telecom operator Reliance Infocomm, of being behind the tapping, but later withdrew the allegations.


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