Legal Update: Dow No-Shows Again

The courtroom stands empty after Dow again fails to show up

On Wednesday November 13, nearly 35 years to the day since the Bhopal Gas Disaster, Dow Chemical was summoned to appear in an Indian criminal court and explain the 27 year absence of its subsidiary Union Carbide. Just like so many times before, Dow did not show up.

The court was asked to summon a representative of India’s Ministry of Home Affairs to next hearing. The ministry has so far sent six requests for legal assistance to the United States Department of Justice under the mutually agreed terms of a bilateral treaty between India and the U.S., a treaty that is governed by international law. The Department of Justice, which is being asked to serve notice papers upon Dow, has ignored or obstructed every request made on this matter by its treaty partner.

The Judge agreed to the summons request. The Ministry’s undersecretary has therefore been asked to appear and apprise the court of the reasons for its inability to serve summons on Dow.

The next hearing has been posted for January 20th, 2020.

Citizens of the United States have written letters and called their Local Representatives and State Senators. Many have also called the Department of Justice. We need to keep the momentum going to ensure the DOJ gives the summons to Dow Chemical. If you are a supporter and are based in the U.S., please consider doing the same. After so many years it is essential that we do not allow Dow Chemical to continue to neglect their responsibility for Bhopal.

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We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.