Petition seeks to protect Bhopal evidence

Published: Monday 15 August 1994

-- Three voluntary organisations working among the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy have moved separate applications before the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Bhopal, Alok Jha, seeking an injunction against the Union Carbide management to stop them removing any property from the infamous pesticide plant. They have also asked for a directive to the Union Government to submit a statement explaining the delay in the extradition of former Carbide chairperson Warren Anderson from the US.

The applications were moved by the Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti, the Bhopal Group for Information and Action and the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sanghatan. The organisations alleged that the Carbide management was tampering with vital evidence relating to the case and had started dismantling machinery inside the plant. The applicants sought a directive from the court ordering the Centre and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the control of the plant. The applicants stated that it was unclear why and when the CBI relinquished control of the plant seized by it after the tragedy.

They also sought an order prohibiting officers of Carbide from entering plant premises and ordering the management to provide a list of items in it. The organisations have also demanded a statement from the Union government on the inordinate delay in extraditing Anderson, accused in the criminal case against Carbide, who has been declared an absconder for non-appearance in the court.

The organisations also sought a court directive for a CBI team to inspect the Carbide pesticide plant in West Virginia in the US, contending that there are differences in the safety standards adopted in the US and Bhopal, as pointed out in The betrayal of Bhopal, a recent video film produced by the UK-based Grenada Television.

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