The Times of India reports, today, on an extraordinary story whereby India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is seeking to have the ‘highest possible punishment’ bestowed on the seven Indian Union Carbide officials convicted on criminal charges relating to the 1984 Gas Disaster.
‘Bhopal gas tragedy: 7 accused to face 3800 murder charges’ times of India: HERE
The seven were convicted, in 2010, on a charge of ‘death by negligence’ after the original charge of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ was reduced. The seven were released, pending appeal, and have never served a day in prison. BBC reports on convictions in 2010
The American Union Carbide has never attended court to face the criminal charges of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ outstanding against it and remains an ‘absconder from justice’ in the eyes of the Indian courts.
The Dow Chemical Company which owns, and controls, Union Carbide has been served notice to attend the Bhopal courts to explain why it does not produce Union carbide to the courts. Dow refuses to attend.
Erstwhile Union Carbide CEO, Warren Anderson, was also wanted on the same culpable homicide charges but never answered them. He died in September 2014 having lived his life out in luxurious retirement between his houses in the Hamptons and Florida.
The Times of India article goes on to say that: ‘CBI may also plead for criminal proceedings against the then Arjun Singh government for colluding with Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson to ensure his safe return to US when he came to Bhopal on December 7, 1984, following the gas disaster.’
Whilst we applaud any moves toward holding responsible parties to account we cannot help but notice the omission of the American Union Carbide, along with current owner Dow Chemical, from this story.