Thursday, June 10, 2010

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

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