A court here has posted for January 6 the hearing on various petitions, including of the CBI, seeking that Dow Chemical be tried for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy that killed more than 3,000 people and caused environmental damage.
AdvertisementDow Chemical, headquartered in Michigan in the US, had bought the Union Carbide Corporation, a gas leak from whose facility in Bhopal on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984 resulted in the tragedy.
Judicial Magistrate First Class Vidhan Maheshwari on Saturday adjourned the hearing until January 6 after the American multinational corporation contended the case does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Bhopal court that served a show cause notice to it on the pleas of petitioners. The petitioners, however, have asserted the Madhya Pradesh High Court decided the issue of jurisdiction in 2012, and thus Dow Chemical should be made an accused in the case, Avi Singh, a lawyer representing organisations working for the gas tragedy victims, told PTI.
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AdvertisementA lawyer representing Dow Chemical told PTI the case does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Bhopal court given that the multinational firm was governed by international law. ”We also submitted before the court that the jurisdiction issue has not been settled by the high court,” he added. In their pleas, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Bhopal Group for Information and Action and other organisations argued that since the Dow Chemical owns Union Carbide, it should be made an accused in the criminal case. The toxic methyl isocyanate gas leak from the Union Carbide factory on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984 killed more than 3,000 people and affected 1.02 lakh others.