Friday, June 18, 2010

‘Anderson was assured safe passage’

17 June 2010
NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE: Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson was assured “safe passage” before he came to India in 1984 in the wake of the Bhopal gas disaster, the then foreign secretary Mr MK Rasgotra said today, adding a new twist to the renewed row over the tragedy.
The decision, Mr Rasgotra said, was taken by the Union home ministry, then under PV Narasimha Rao, and the Cabinet secretary. Rajiv Gandhi was subsequently told about the decision, to which he did not object. “I got in touch with the home ministry and I got in touch with the Cabinet secretary. I told them what Gordon Streeb (the then deputy chief of the US mission here) had asked for,” Mr Rasgotra said. This was after a request from the US Embassy asking for a safe passage for Anderson, he said.

His comments came on the eve of the meeting of the Group of Ministers to discuss various aspects of the fallout of the court verdict in the gas tragedy case.

Mr Rasgotra said in an interview to CNN-IBN that the decision to give Anderson safe passage was taken “the same day”. “He (Streeb) said Anderson wanted to come here. There was a tragic situation and he wanted to see things himself, wanted to offer his condolences but he would come only if granted safe passage,” Mr Rasgotra said.

He said he could not say if the then Madhya Pradesh chief minister Mr Arjun Singh was unaware of the safe passage, which resulted in Anderson's brief arrest in Bhopal.

Source: The Statesman 18 June 2010

Cops parade deranged man as Maoist

SALBONI (WEST MIDNAPORE): The "dreaded" Maoist captured by joint forces on Wednesday the only one apparently caught alive at the encounter site where eight rebels lay dead is a 20-year-old mute and mentally challenged youth from Duli village. No wonder, police haven't been able to make him speak.

In what may cast a shadow on the way the police are rounding up suspects, Rameshwar Murmu has been branded a hardcore Maoist and slapped with the most stringent of charges, including sedition under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The Midnapore court on Thursday remanded him in 15 days judicial custody. While on Wednesday, the cops claimed the "captured Maoist" was too stunned at the loss of so many comrades to speak and admitted that he hadn't said a word, Rameshwar's father, Bankim Murmu, cried, "My son can't speak. He may scream if you hit him, but he can't speak a word." The Murmus live right behind Wednesday's encounter site.

Bankim says Rameshwar suffers from congenital epilepsy and developed ENT problems at a very young age leading to loss of speech and hearing. He produced medical records to support his claim. "He can only make barely legible sounds. It affected his behaviour and he lost his mental balance. That is why he could not pursue education beyond class IV," a tearful Bankim told TOI on Thursday.

Bankim owns a mud house and a small plot of land on the edge of Ranjya forest where the bloody encounter took place on Wednesday. His elder son, Ram, works in a factory in Orissa.

Recounting Wednesday's developments that led to his son being captured, Bankim said they woke up to the sound of gunfire behind his house. The family rushed out in the direction of the village to avoid being hit.

"My wife Madina was holding Rameshwar's hand as we ran. The gunfire had woken up other villagers as well and they were running helter-skelter. In the melee, Rameshwar broke free and ran back towards the house. I don't know what was on his mind. My wife ran after him. But before she could reach Rameshwar, police caught him. They put a gun to his head and said they would shoot if anyone took a step forward," he said.

The parents could only watch helplessly as the forces led their son away. "We pleaded with them to let him go. We told them that he is mentally challenged and not involved with Maoists. But they refused to listen," said Madina. They don't know where their son has been taken. Nor do they have the courage to go to the police for fear of being thrashed.

According to medical documents, Rameshwar was treated at several places between 2004 and 2006, including ENT specialists at Tarakeshwar in Hooghly and Midnapore. On June 5, 2006, when Rameshwar was 16, he was taken to Anirban Diagnostic Centre Pvt Ltd in Midnapore town (ID B-6884, checked by Dr N Adhikari).

Other villagers, like Sudha Soren and Lakshmi Murmu, confirmed that Rameshwar was mentally challenged. "He never behaved like a normal kid. Now we hear that he has been paraded before TV channels with his hands tied and branded a Maoist," Sudha said.

Rameshwar was bare-bodied and wearing blue shorts when he was caught, an unlikely dress for a guerrilla. Police insist Rameshwar was present alongside senior Maoist leaders Bikash and Akash. "After the gunfight, we caught him hiding behind a hedge. He had a single-barrel gun," a cop said.

Source: Times of India, 18 June 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Three Intellectuals And Their Arrest In Lalgarh

Day before yesterday, 15 June 2010 West Midnapur police detained Nisha Biswas, Kaniska Chowdhury, Manik Mondal and three journalists along with other local people at Salboni with alleged Maoist-link. Although the journalists were released later, Nisha Biswas, Kaniska Chowdhury and Manik Mondal were arrested. They were sent to jail custody by Jhargram court.

Nisha Biswas, scientist of a CSIR institute in Kolkata, Kaniska Chowdhury, a professor of a college and Manik Mondal, a well known writer are human right activists and have been associated with peoples' movement for years. Nisha regularly participates in various programmes and street corners organized by Lalgarh Mancha and Sanhati Udyog.

Lalgarh remains besieged by the state armed forces for the last one year. No human right activists are allowed to visit. Statements issued by the police and government officials prevail in mainstream media and remain the major, if not the only source of information regarding Lalgarh. Nobody can think this as a healthy situation, especially when incidents of severe human rights violation by joint forces surface out. Recently three open letters were issued by People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) regarding different issues of People's resistance of Lalgarh and human right violation by joint forces. 

It was therefore timely decision of these intellectuals of Kolkata to visit Lalgarh for having first hand experience of the situation of Lalgarh. When state does not allow any human right activist to visit a place, a true activist must earnestly try to reach there to remain honest to his conscience. Given the prevailing state repression, their visits have to be in clandestine.  And, a clandestine visit has long been cherished by current West Bengal Chief Minister; remember he spent some time for translating "Clandestine in Chille" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Then what went wrong with Nisha Biswas, Kaniska Chowdhury and Manik Mondal?

It was shown in a TV channel that they were booked as they participated along with others in a meeting of PCAPA. We do not know whether they really participated in such meeting. Even if they participated, how can it be an offense? This organization is not a banned organization, it works for democratic rights; government officials including state election commissioner met the representatives of PCAPA couple of times till June 2009. And a meeting between them was scheduled to be held on 14 July 2009, which did not happen as operation of joint forces started on 18 June 2009. Then what goes wrong if people participate in the meeting of PCAPA? Is it just because it has raised some important issues which state does not like? Is it because of the mobilization of masses behind their demands? If so, then any democratic individual has to take the side of PCAPA. And that was exactly what these intellectuals did. 

Government and police officials sometimes say that the movement of PCAPA has its own trajectory and with time it became closer to the Maoists. It is ridiculous. PCAPA and its movement should be judged on the basis of its content—on the basis of their demands, not on the basis of how close Maoists are to them. People can build movement on several issues. Any organization can find those issues relevant and extend their support. Only with the malicious intention a movement can be assessed on the basis of these supporter organizations. 

With such steps against activists working for democratic rights the government gradually establishes the fact that whatever exists is nothing but fascist rule. Such notion when roots in people's mind nowhere help the ruler, rather expedite their fall. India will not be an exception.

17 June 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Did UPA back Dow in 2006?

Press Trust of India
WASHINGTON/BHOPAL, 15 JUNE: An RTI response issued by the Indian Embassy here suggests that the UPA government had assured Dow Chemicals, the parent company of Union Carbide, in 2006 that it would not be held liable for the Bhopal gas tragedy ~ even when the matter was sub-judice.
In a letter to the then Indian Ambassador to the USA, Mr Ronen Sen, Dow Chemicals CEO Mr Andrew Liveris claimed that the Indian government had said that his company was not liable for the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984. A copy of Mr Liveris' letter dated 8 November, 2006, was obtained by US-based Mr Somu Kumar of the International Campaign for Justice for Bhopal from the Indian Embassy by invoking the Right to Information Act. A copy of the letter and other documents obtained by Mr Kumar were circulated in the Indian media here.
“Given the statements made by Government of India representatives... that Dow is not responsible for Bhopal and will not be pursued by the GoI, it will be important to follow through to ensure concrete, sustained actions are taken that are consistent with these statements,” Mr Liveris said in his letter to Mr Sen. .
“It is shocking that GoI representatives had announced that Dow was not liable even when an Indian court was still deliberating on this issue,” Mr Kumar said. Members of the International Campaign for Justice for Bhopal, including Mr Kumar demonstrated outside the Indian Embassy here.
In 2004, Jabalpur High Court began hearing the case on who should pay for the sanitisation of the defunct Carbide plant in Bhopal and in 2005, minister for chemicals and fertilisers Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, sought Rs 100 crore from Dow for the clean-up. In his letter, Mr Liveris sought withdrawal of the application seeking financial deposits for the clean-up.
According to the information provided by the Indian Embassy, Mr Liveris met Ambassador Sen on 21 September, 2005 and followed up the visit with two letters. Mr Liveris also met the then finance minister in New York on the sidelines of an Indo-US CEO Forum meeting on 25 October, 2006. He met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 14 September, 2005 in New York during a CEOs’ luncheon co-hosted by the Indian envoy.

Meanwhile in an embarrassment to the BJP, its senior leader and Madhya Pradesh minister Mr Babulal Gaur, today said the Union government headed by his party too had been “totally apathetic” to the problems of the Bhopal gas victims and that Mr Arjun Singh should not be blamed alone for the events after the disaster.

Source: The Statesman 16 June 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Complaint filed in court against Arjun Singh in connection with Bhopal gas tragedy

In Madhya Pradesh, a Bhopal lawyer has filed a private complaint in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) seeking legal action against senior Congress leader and the then chief minister Arjun Singh, his son and congress MLA Ajay Singh, the then chief secretary of the state Brahamswaroop and Hanumganj police station in charge Surinder Singh, who had lodged a FIR in connection with Bhopal gas tragedy.

The Complainant in his plaint has alleged that the respondents had hatched a conspiracy under which the then chairman of Union Carbide Corporation Warren Anderson was allowed to escape from Bhopal after his arrest.

On the other hand Arjun Singh’s son Ajay Singh has admitted having received a donation of one lac fifty thousand rupees from the Union Carbide for his Churhat Children’s Welfare Fund in 1983. However, saying that he is not a spokesperson of his father, he declined to comment on his father’s role in the release of Warren Anderson.

Meanwhile a group of gas activists has written to US president Barrack Obama asking him to order judicial processes that will fix the accountability of US corporations and individuals responsible for Bhopal gas tragedy.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Bhopal news leakage disaster

Rajinder Puri
In Bhopal leaking gas killed people. From Bhopal leaking news is killing reputations. Arjun Singh ordered the release of Warren Anderson after earlier arresting him. Why did he do that? He is under a cloud. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked his ministers to consider the Dow Chemical proposal to waive its financial liability in lieu of helping obtain foreign investment in India. He is under a cloud. Chief Justice Ahmedi who reduced the criminal liability in the Bhopal case later headed the hospital trust set up by the accused. This was gross violation of judicial propriety. He is under a cloud. Chidambaram and Kamal Nath lobbied for Dow Chemical with the government to write off the compensation for Bhopal victims due from it in return for promised foreign investment. Both are under a cloud – but enough! There is little point in mentioning names. Why pick on a few individuals? The entire political class is under a cloud.
However Rajiv Gandhi is not under a cloud. No Congress leader dares to name him. Rajiv was Prime Minister when Anderson was released in Bhopal. He was Prime Minister when Anderson was allowed to fly from Delhi to the USA. He was in Bhopal with Arjun Singh on the very day and at the very time when the latter reversed his earlier decision of arresting Anderson to order his release and fly him to Delhi in a State aircraft.
Rajiv Gandhi alone could have been responsible for the release of Anderson. The PM’s principal secretary PC Alexander has confirmed that the Cabinet meeting convened soon after the Bhopal gas tragedy did not refer to Anderson’s release. Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said: “I categorically deny involvement of the then central government.” She is right. Anderson’s release was not ordered by the Central government. It was ordered personally by Rajiv Gandhi who sat next to chief minister Arjun Singh in Bhopal when the latter addressed the press confirming Anderson’s arrest.
Rajiv Gandhi must bear ultimate responsibility for allowing the government’s claim for settlement of US$ 3.3 billion from Union Carbide to be whittled down to a paltry US$ 470 million that was eventually paid. The Supreme Court directed the final settlement of all litigation in the amount of US$ 470 million to be paid by 31 March, 1989. Both the Indian government and Union Carbide accepted the court's direction for payment of US$ 470 million. In May, 1989 the SC offered its rationale for the settlement. It stated that the compensation was higher than ordinarily payable under Indian law.
Did the honourable Judges pay any attention to international law? In the same year 1989 Exxon Valdez spilled 10.8 million gallons of crude oil in the waters near Alaska. Exxon had to shell out US$ 5 billion for a disaster in which no human lives were lost! Given our recent history it is legitimate to ask: was any amount in the huge gap between 3.3 billion US$ claimed by the government, and 470 million US$ received by it, pocketed by any politician? And let us not be surprised by the SC settlement. After all, the Supreme Court just months earlier overcame its doubts to sentence innocent Kehar Singh to death in the Indira Gandhi assassination case.
Let us not miss the wood for the trees. This issue is not about Rajiv Gandhi or the Congress. All our past political icons deserve scrutiny by scanner. The issue is no longer about the Bhopal gas disaster. The victims are no longer the 500,000 disabled or the 20,000 dead of Bhopal. The issue is the independence of India. The victims are the one billion plus citizens of India. They do not need compensation. They need revolution. They need liberation from the corrupt, venal ruling class that enriched itself by bartering the nation’s independence and self respect during the past six decades.
Yes, six decades! The time has come to recall all the disgraceful betrayals of the national interest since 1947 by those who have ruled us. The time has come to revisit history. The exposures of the Bhopal gas disaster present a defining moment. If India seeks remedy for its decadence and decline the diagnosis must be based upon truth. There is a generation of Indians ignorant of our history. It will need to acquaint itself with the truth. It is available for all those who seek it. If India’s new generation wants a future it will have to fight for it. It will have to fight for the future of the nation. Who knows, it may surprise history by doing just that.

Source: The Statesman, 14 June 2004

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chief minister's office told us to fly Anderson to Delhi: Pilot

10 June 2010
Indo-Asian News Service  
BHOPAL, 10 JUNE: A former director of aviation at Bhopal and a pilot have both claimed that the Madhya Pradesh chief minister's office had instructed them to fly former Union Carbide chairman Mr Warren Anderson to Delhi after the Bhopal gas tragedy.
"We got a call from the chief minister's office and were asked to arrange a flight," former director of aviation, Bhopal, Mr RS Sodhi told television channel NDTV. Senior congress leader Mr Arjun Singh was then Madhya Pradesh chief minister.
Mr Sodhi remembered that two cars stopped in front of the aircraft parked at Bhopal airport. "The first car was carrying the superintendent of police and the second one had Mr Warren Anderson and Mr Moti Singh (then district collector)," he said.
"Mr Anderson boarded the plane and we took off," Sodhi said.
A video broadcast by CNN-IBN today and filmed by a French television team Dec 7, 1984 shows a blue Ambassador car with a red beacon going through the airport gates and running on the tarmac. The car, said the channel, belonged to the then district collector and also had Mr Anderson inside.
The pilot who flew the plane has also come forward to talk about the events of that December afternoon. "We waited for Mr Anderson and he came with the superintendent of police and the collector. He got down from the car and we asked him to get in the aircraft… he boarded the plane and I closed the door," reminisced Captain SH Ali.
One hour before reaching Delhi airport, he asked the airport manager to send a car for a VIP, which should be ready once the plane landed. "I took him in the car and dropped him outside the airport manager's room and there was one car waiting for him… that person came and asked him to board the car and he left," said the former pilot.
He remembered that Mr Anderson was "looking tired and upset", but at the time, he was not aware of the identity of his passenger.
But, he was clear that the instructions came from the chief minister's office. "This (order) came from Captain Sodhi. He was our director ~ he gets the information from the chief minister or chief minister's staff or secretary to the chief minister," said Captain Ali.

Source: The Statesman

How Anderson got bail...

9 June 2010

BHOPAL/HYDERABAD, 9 JUNE: More embarrassing details tumbled out today in the Bhopal gas tragedy case of how former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson got bail immediately after his arrest but the then CBI chief rejected claims that the agency was asked not to pursue his extradition.
Meanwhile, with the verdict in the case coming under an all-round attack, the Central government today reconstituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to go into a range of issues including the relief and rehabilitation of victims and their families.
The MP government sought to step into the picture, saying it would appeal against the Bhopal court verdict seeking enhancement of the punishment to the convicts. On top of a former CBI official's charge on Anderson's extradition, the then DM of Bhopal came out with his version of how he was asked to ensure bail for the Carbide official hours after his arrest.
“They (Anderson and others) came to Bhopal from Bombay by service flight. They were taken into police custody at the airport and taken to the Union Carbide guest house where they were told that they were under arrest and they were lodged in three separate rooms and the formality of arrest was completed,” former DM Mr Moti Singh told reporters in Bhopal. Then, he said, around 2 p.m. (7 December, 1984), the Chief Secretary called the SP and the DM to his office and told them to release Anderson and put him in the same plane waiting in the airport to go to Delhi. “Accordingly, we went to the place where he was lodged. We observed the formalities of granting him bail. A Carbide employee stood surety and thereafter he was released on bail, taken to the airport and put on a plane to New Delhi,” Mr Singh said.
In Hyderabad, former CBI Director Mr K Vijayarama Rao today rejected claims of a former joint director Mr BR Lall that the agency was asked not to pursue Anderson's extradition from the USA. “The Government of India as well as the CBI did everything they could to extradite Anderson from the US. But, the US refused to allow it,” Mr Rao told reporters. “Their (USA) claim was that the Union Carbide factory was only a holding and that this man (Anderson) cannot be held responsible as he is not directly involved in the running of the factory. We can, however, hold him morally responsible (for the Bhopal gas tragedy),” the former CBI Director said.
Mr Lall yesterday said that he was asked by the Ministry of External Affairs officials not to follow extradition of Anderson when the gas leak took place 26 years ago. Mr Rao recalled that there was a lot of correspondence between the CBI and the MEA and also between the MEA and the US government. “In the course of such correspondence, there may have been a letter from the MEA saying that the US is not allowing the extradition of Anderson. But I can say that at no point was there any pressure on the CBI..” PTI

MEA clarification
NEW DELHI, 9 JUNE: With questions being raised over its role in Warren Anderson’s non-extradition in Bhopal case, the MEA today said it has time and again requested for his extradition, which has been turned down by the USA for want of more “evidential links”. Maintaining that the ministry has “renewed the request for an extradition on a number of occasions, a senior official said the MEA will “proceed on the basis of the collective decision of the government” on the issue. PTI

Source: The Statesman

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Talking points: why justice cannot prevail

According to Eveready Industries, the successor to Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL), there was never any danger of a judgment against the company, consequently no need to provide financially for that eventuality. Whence comes this overweening confidence? 

“Trial proceedings before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bhopal, on the modified charges framed under the directions of the Supreme Court that commenced in September 1997, are yet to be concluded. As per advice of legal counsel, allegations against the Company are without any firm basis and possibilities of proceedings against the Company, succeeding are extremely remote. Since the charges are very likely to fail, no provision is necessary at this stage.”

Unaudited Standalone Financial Results (Provisional) for the Quarter and year ended March 31, 2010

Will justice be done in Bhopal on June 7, 2010? Read on.

Qu. 1. Will justice be done in Bhopal on June 7?

Justice in Bhopal will be done only if the individuals and corporations responsible for the death of over 25 thousand and toxic exposure and damage to over half a million people are punished in an exemplary manner. The punishment accorded to the individual corporate officials and the corporations must be of such that it deters other corporations and corporate officials from being recklessly indifferent to human life and health.

We think that even if the verdict on June 7 is fully against the nine accused, justice will not be any where near done on the world’s worst corporate massacre.

Firstly, the prime accused in this case are Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), and Warren Anderson and both are absconding from Indian courts since 1992. In the last 18 years, the CBI has not taken the tiniest step to get the authorized representatives of UCC, USA extradited and has made only one unsuccessful attempt in 2003 to get Anderson extradited. The third foreign accused, Union Carbide Eastern Limited, Hong Kong, deregistered itself in 1992 without ever appearing in court and the CBI has not taken any action against this absconding accused. Only a concurrent trial of the foreign accused can adequately address the nature and extent of the crimes committed in the disaster in Bhopal.

Secondly, the charges against the accused are much weaker than they should be. There is ample evidence that individual officials and the corporate boards demonstrated reckless indifference towards the lives and health of the workers in the factory and people in the city. They were manifestly aware that the technology employed in Bhopal was exceptionally hazardous, that cost cutting measures had made it more hazardous still, that 30 major hazards had been identified through a safety audit and that safety and maintenance had been run down to a threadbare basis in advance of an intended sell-off. Yet the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) decided to charge Union Carbide and its officials only with criminal negligence.

For their criminal indifference to human life and health, Union Carbide and its officials should have been charged with culpable homicide (Sec. 300 Part IV of Indian Penal Code punishable by life imprisonment) for running the factory knowing that it was so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.

Thirdly, because of an unjust order of the Supreme Court and the CBI’s inaction, the criminal charges against the Indian corporation and its officials have been further diluted. The order of Justice A M Ahmadi delivered on September 13, 1996 brought down the charge from Sec. 304 Part II of Indian Penal Code (IPC) to Sec. 304 A of the IPC without considering the evidence of the culpability of Union Carbide India Limited and its officials. By reducing the Bhopal disaster to the equivalent of a traffic accident the prison term for the crimes of Bhopal was brought down from 10 years to 2 years. Further, a conviction under Sec. 304 A, does not necessarily lead to imprisonment. It could well be reduced to criminal fines.

Finally, because the CBI has done a shoddy job of prosecuting the Indian corporation and its officials, it is very doubtful that the verdict on June 7 will be fully against the accused.

2. How has the CBI fulfilled its role as a prosecutor?

The CBI has done a shoddy job of prosecuting the Indian and the foreign accused.

a) Despite the fact that the documentary evidence is all available, the CBI has failed to present evidence :

- that demonstrate that UCC, USA and Warren Anderson were well aware in 1973 that the technology for the MIC plant in Bhopal was “untested”

- that show that the design of the Bhopal plant was substantially different and inferior in terms of safety when compared to the MIC plant owned by Union Carbide in Institute, West Virginia, USA.

- that establishes that Keshub Mahindra and other officials knew or should have known about the hazardous design of the plant and the additional hazards due to design modifications.

- that links each of the accused to deliberate acts undermining operational safety such as rewriting of operation manuals, decommissioning the crucial refrigeration unit and eliminating the maintenance supervisor from most work shifts.

- that demonstrate that UCC, UCIL and its senior officials were indifferent to the injuries caused to people in the neighbourhood communities due to routine leaks in the factory prior to the disaster in 1984

b) The CBI has also failed to

- produce the three absconding foreign accused in India court.

- stop accused Union Carbide Eastern Inc., Hong Kong from “disappearing”.

- visit the Institute, West Virginia plant to document the design differences between the two plants that would show that the Bhopal plant was deliberately under designed.

- deliver summons and execute arrest warrants despite being India’s Interpol agency.

- prevent the sale of shares of UCC, USA in UCIL in 1994 thus loosening the grip of the Indian court over the absconding corporation.

- appeal against the order of the Supreme court that diluted criminal charges against Indian accused.

- take action against the sale of Union Carbide’s intellectual property in India while the corporation is absconding from justice.

- make Dow Chemical, USA, current owner of Union Carbide, appear in the Bhopal court despite clear orders.

3. Why did the case against the Indian officials take so long?

The verdict against the Indian accused is now expected 25 years after the disaster in 1984. The CBI filed charges only in 1987. From 1989 to 1991 it was quashed by the Supreme Court’s order on settlement. From 1993 to 1996 the matter was under revision by the State High Court and the Supreme Court which diluted the charges from culpable homicide to death by negligence.

The case involved examination and cross examination of 178 prosecution witnesses and 8 defence witnesses and presenting over 3000 documents before the court. Hearings in the case were usually scheduled once every month but very often there was a gap of two to three months between hearings.

Repeated demands of survivors’ organization to set up a Special Prosecution Cell for effective and quick prosecution was turned down by the government.

4. What needs to be done to bring the absconding accused to trial?

As the Minister in charge, the Prime Minister must:

- create a Special Prosecution Cell in the CBI for effective and timely action on extradition of foreign accused and collection and presentation of evidence against the foreign accused.

- direct CBI to move on extradition of authorized representative of UCC and resend extradition request for Warren Anderson.

- direct CBI to follow the assets of Union Carbide Eastern Inc. to ensure that the representatives of the accused corporation face criminal trial.

- direct CBI to take action on illegal trading of UCC technology in India.

- direct CBI to take legal action so that summons issued against Dow Chemical, USA can be delivered.

Above all, there is need for sea-change in the political will of both the US and Indian administrations for broad assistance and mutual cooperation on the criminal prosecution of the foreign accused.