Dow Chemical fails to appear a 3rd time in gas tragedy case

It seems that Dow Chemical, US has failed to turn up before a court in Bhopal, India, in connection with the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy case, for the third consecutive time. The hearing has now been rescheduled for July of 2016. Apparently Dow, which wholly owns Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), has ignored a summons from the district court in Bhopal and did not appear before it yesterday.

Rajesh Nandeshwar, the Judicial Magistrate, changed the next hearing date and also issued a “show-cause notice” on Dow over a number of petitions filed by NGOs working with the gas tragedy survivors. Its counsel Avi Singh, said proceedings for contempt of court should be started and that an FIR be filed under sections 174 (obstruction of a public official) and 212 (harbouring a fugitive) of IPC. BGIA (Bhopal Group for Information and Action) is also seeking to start a criminal trial against Union Carbide Corp.

In 1984, tons of toxic Methyl Isocyanate gas leaked from Union Carbide’s Bhopal factory on the night of December 2-3, killing nearly 25,000 people and injuring half million others.

Mr. Singh, stated in a press release that the US Department of Justice’s refusal to serve notice to Dow was, “against the principle of international cooperation against crime as enshrined in the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the two countries.” He acknowledged that Dow Chemical has publicly acknowledged the summons on its company website so there was therefore no need to serve Dow notice again.

Just like Bill Gates in India, we are saddened that the least of these are being harmed by big corporations and yet nothing happens to them. We hope that justice will be served and that the victims will be compensated or find some peace.

Source: The Hindu