Tag: gas leak

Bhopal Blame Game

After the verdict on Bhopal gas leak a blame game has been going on. Most of the time it has been about Warren Anderson. Who let Anderson go? Why was he not extradited? These questions have been discussed ad nauseam. M. K. Rasgotra, then foreign secretary, has spoken. Warren Anderson was given an assurance that he will not be arrested in India. After his arrest USA’s charge de affairs contacted M. K. Rasgotra. M. K. Rasgotra contacted cabinet secretary and home ministry and Anderson was free. Rajiv Gandhi was then foreign minister. Narasimha Rao was then home minister. Both are dead. Arjun Singh, then chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, kept quiet for many days. Then he said he did not release Anderson.
Veerappa Moily blamed judiciary for diluting the charges to traffic accident. Justice Ahmadi and Justice Mazumdar had diluted the charges and rejected the petition and review petition against the same. Now there is talk of filing a curative petition.
When Union Carbide agreed to pay 470 million dollars as compensation in 1989 civil and criminal charges against it were dropped. Was it right to revive criminal charges later?
Congress and BJP have blamed each other regarding various things related to Bhopal gas leak. There is discussion about the liability of Dow Chemicals, successor to Union Carbide. Abishek Singhvi of Congress and Arun Jaitley of BJP were engaged by Dow Chemicals.
There are complaints that the hospital set up for Bhopal victims does not serve them. It is a superspeciality hospital that serves people who pay.
Many people who did not suffer got compensation. They should be asked to return the amount.

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Bhopal Gas Leak Verdict

On 7/6/2010 CJM Mohan P. Tiwari delivered judgment in Bhopal gas leak case. All the accused were sentenced to two years imprisonment and were released on bail.
Many say justice is not done. The gas leak happened in December 1984. CBI filed the chargesheet in 1987. In 1996 the Supreme Court reduced the culpable homicide not amounting to murder charge to death due to negligence charge for which maximum punishment is two years imprisonment.
Two years imprisonment for 20,000 deaths? That is what many people ask. The exact number of dead is not known. In 1984 the number was said to be 50,000. The gas leak affected many people, one figure puts it at 5,00,000. There was environmental damage.
The Supreme Court had worked out a settlement, some call it an out of court settlement, and Union Carbide had paid 470 million dollars towards compensation. Many say the damage was not fully known.
CBI is blamed by some. CBI is it could not have done more.
Indian law needs to change. Punishment has to be consecutive. If punishment for one death due to negligence is two years imprisonment for 20,000 deaths it has to be 40,000 years imprisonment.
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