SOS e - Clarion Of Dalit

IT IS A FORUM TOWARDS PROTECTING THE CIVIL , HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE OPPRESSED - DALITS , MINORITIES & TRIBALS.The Criminal - Police - Politician - Judge - Criminals Nexus is trying to silence me in many ways. If anything untoward happens to me or to my dependents CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA together with jurisdictional police & District Magistrate will be responsible for it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

SHAME SHAME Supreme Courts of USA & India


S.O.S   e - Clarion  Of  Dalit  -  Weekly  Newspaper  On  Web 
Working  For  The  Rights  &  Survival  Of  The Oppressed
Editor: NAGARAJA.M.R… VOL.6 issue.27… 04/07/2012

 

 

Shame Shame to Supreme Court of India & Supreme Court of USA

-          Match Fixing in the Supreme  Courts of USA & India

 

The Final Verdict is out in Bhopal Gas Tragedy . This kind of Injustice can only happen in banana republics , where rich crooks are protected by authorities & courts. SHAME SHAME to supreme court of India , supreme court of USA & Government of USA , for practicing double standards in enforcement of law & justice.

 

Double standards of supreme court of India

http://sites.google.com/site/sosevoiceforjustice/is-the-supreme-court-of-india-deaf-dumb-blind

 

PIL Appeal & Show Cause Notice to Supreme Court of India

http://sites.google.com/site/eclarionofdalit/pil-appeal-show-cause-notice-to-supreme-court-of-india 

 

Double Standard : BP And Bhopal
By Bill Quigley & Alex Tuscano

When President Barak Obama went after BP and demanded a $20 billion dollar fund be set up for victims of the Gulf oil spill, the people of India were furious. They saw a US double standard. The US demonstrated it values human life within the US more than the lives of the people of India.
BP should pay $20 billion in compensation, probably even more. The people of India agree with that.
But people are angry because the US is treating the oil spill, called the worst environmental disaster in US history, in a radically different way than the US treated the explosion of a US-owned pesticide plant in Bhopal India, which some call the worst industrial disaster in history.
The 1984 Bhopal explosion released tons of toxic chemicals into the air, claimed the lives of between 15,000 and 20,000 people within two weeks, and disabled hundreds of thousands of others – many still suffering from physical damage and genetic defects.
The plant that exploded was operated by Union Carbide India Limited, a corporation owned by Union Carbide of the United States.
The disaster occurred in a thickly populated area close to the central railway station in Bhopal, an urban area of 1.5 million in the heart of India. Most people in the area lived in shanty huts.
Thousands of dead humans and animals filled the streets of Bhopal. Survivors complain of genetic damage which has caused widespread birth defects in children and even grandchildren of those exposed.
The soil and water of Bhopal remain toxic with heavy pesticide residue and toxic metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and chromium.
While President Obama displayed outrage at BP officials over the 11 deaths from the US oil spill, the US has refused to extradite Warren Anderson, the chair of Union Carbide, to face charges for his role in the Bhopal disaster.
Recall too that Obama advisor Larry Summers, then chief economist at the World Bank, stated in an infamous 1971 memo. “Just between you and me, shouldn’t the world Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the Less Developed Countries?... I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted…”
Obsolete and hazardous industries have been systematically transferred to the third world countries to not only exploit the cheap labor but also to avoid disastrous impact of these industries on the advanced countries.
Union Carbide put profit for the corporation above the lives and health of millions of people. Dow Chemical, which took over Union Carbide, is attempting to distance itself from all responsibility.
In India there were two Bhopal developments this month. The Indian government announced a compensation package of $280 million for Bhopal victims, about $22,000 for each of the families of the deceased according to the BBC, and seven former Indian managers of the Bhopal plant were given two year jail sentences for their part in the explosion. These legal developments are a mockery of justice for one of the world’s greatest disasters.
We call on the people of the US and the people of India to join together to demand our governments respect the human rights of all people, no matter where they live.
Together we must bring about change in corporate development. We have to emphasize social production for the needs of people and improved social relations.
If we continue to value some lives more than others, and to allow corporations to spoil some areas with impunity, our world will not last.
Unless we respect the human rights of all people and demand corporations do that as well, we will be damned to live out the Cree Indian prophecy “Only when the last tree from this earth has been cut down, only when the last river has been poisoned, only when the last fish has been caught, only then will humankind learn that money cannot be eaten.”

 



Bhopal gas tragedy: US court absolves Union Carbide of liability

In a setback to 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy victims, a US court has held that neither Union Carbide nor its former chairman Warren Anderson were liable for environmental remediation or pollution-related claims at the firm's former chemical plant in Bhopal.

US district judge John Keena in Manhattan dismissed a lawsuit accusing the company of causing soil and water pollution around the Bhopal plant due to the disaster, and ruled that Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and Anderson were not liable for remediation or pollution-related claims.

The court ruled that it was Union Carbide India Ltd, and not its parent company UCC that was responsible for the generation and disposal of the waste that polluted drinking water, and the liability rests with the state government.

Plaintiffs Janki Bai Sahu and others had alleged that "toxic substances seeped into a ground aquifer, polluting the soil and drinking water supply in residential communities surrounding the former Bhopal Plant site".

They alleged that exposure to soil and drinking water polluted by hazardous waste produced Union Carbine India Ltd caused injuries.

"The summary judgement record certainly indicates that UCIL consulted with UCC about its waste disposal plans and on non-environmental business matter like its strategic plan. However, nothing in the evidence suggests the necessity of UCC's approval for the actions about which plaintiffs complain," the court said in its order.

"Moreover, there is no evidence in this extensive record indicating that UCIL manufactured pesticides on UCC's behalf, entered into contracts or other business dealings on UCC's behalf, or otherwise acted in UCC's name," it said.

The industrial accident, the worst in Indian history, led to the leak of poisonous methyl isocyanate, claiming thousands of lives in the Madhya Pradesh capital.

Editorial : BHOPAL GAS  VERDICT FIXED -  Shame Shame to Supreme Court of India & Supreme Court of USA

Now it is a known fact that Bhopal  Gas Leak Case Verdict was FIXED years before ,  MATCH FIXED  by then MP Government Chief Minister , Indian Prime Minister and most shame fully Chief Justice of India.
Now The Final Verdict is out in Bhopal Gas Tragedy . This kind of Injustice can only happen in banana republics , where rich crooks are protected by authorities & courts. SHAME SHAME to supreme court of India , supreme court of USA & Government of USA , for practicing double standards in enforcement of law & justice.

Double standards of supreme court of India
http://sites.google.com/site/sosevoiceforjustice/is-the-supreme-court-of-india-deaf-dumb-blind

PIL Appeal & Show Cause Notice to Supreme Court of India
http://sites.google.com/site/eclarionofdalit/pil-appeal-show-cause-notice-to-supreme-court-of-india 

In India, Favorable treatment is given by police & courts of law for rich crooks where as poor innocents are harassed , tortured by the very same police & judges . In india Some MP , MLAs even take money for asking questions in parliament / legislature , Favourable laws are enacted to legalize crimes of rich crooks  for example : Illegal land encroachments by rich crooks. The same MPs , MLAs are not aware about problems of poor public , they don’t even open their mouth for asking questions on welfare of poor , let alone enact laws for welfare of poor. No government law , no decisions of judges , no orders of public servants are sacrosanct . Hereby , e-voice urges the supreme court of india ,
1.       To legally prosecute the jurisdictional  police who changed the charge sheet , who let out  Main criminal Anderson illegally without orders from the  court.
2.       To legally prosecute the SSP , DC of the district , Then Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh & Then Prime Minister of GOI , who fully aided the main accussed , criminal Anderson to escape , to jump law.
3.       To legally prosecute Indian Public Servants , who were responsible for withdrawing the case from US Courts of Justice.
4.       To legally prosecute Then Chief Justice of India Justice Ahmadi & His bench colleagues , who diluted the case by changing the clause under which  Anderson & others were charged.

The Public servants – Mps , MLAs , Judges , IAS / IPS officers  , Police  take thousands of rupees monthly salary , cars , bungalows , 5-star hotel stay together with 5-star meal complete with alchoholic drinks , 5-star health care at premium hospitals , business class air travel , foreign tours , etc all at tax payer’s expense. After enjoying to the hilt at taxpayer’s expense  , these same public servants don’t serve the public , they serve the rich crooks , anti nationals in their greed for more money.

All the while the same poor tax payer suffers without justice . In India more than 50 Crore people are barely surviving on a single piece meal .Let the corrupt public servants eat their 5-star meals by the side of the graves of Bhopal Gas Victims. Atleast this will open the eyes of honest few in public service – police , judiciary & parliament , it is a fond hope. Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.

Your’s sincerely,
Nagaraj.M.R.

An appeal to honourable supreme court of USA & HE Honourable president
of USA  Mr.Obama
 
Your government protects all Americans, all American companies both
inside America & abroad. If an American tourist is murdered in a third
country , American investigators fly over to that country  to conduct
investigation in total disregard to local laws. In the same way , if
the interests of an American company is threatened in a third country
American government goes to it's rescue.
 
However , when an American company butchers , causes mass man
slaughter in a third country , as an American company did in Bhopal
India , no action by American government. Still the said American
company has not removed , cleared the accident site of poisonous
debris at Bhopal India since decades and still causing mass man
slaughter  , no action by American government  why ?
 
Some US based companies are selling soft drinks , food products ,
medicines , drugs in third world countries , which are causing grave
health damages to the public. The quality standards of these products
are fit cases of rejections by US FDA. Some US companies are selling
drugs ( which are banned in the USA ) to third world countries , still
us companies are exporting such dangerous medicines , foods to third
countries . no action by US government , why ? is it because you think
that the lives of  non Americans are cheaper than Americans ?
 
Hereby, I do request your kindself ,
 
1 . to initiate criminal prosecution against US based key management
personnel responsible for Bhopal gas tragedy .
 
2 . to make either the respective company management or US government
to pay compensation to victims of Bhopal gas tragedy  on par with
American lives , as if the same tragedy happened in the USA itself.
 
3 . to order the management of the said company to clean up Bhopal off
poisonous debris , from the accident site at their own expense.
 
4 . To legally prosecute US exporters &  US based companies selling
products  ( which violates US FDA regulations or banned in the USA for
domestic consumption ) to third countries.




Shame! India sold its dead cheap
Shobhan Saxena

Around 22,000 dead. More than 1,20,000 injured.  Rs 1 lakh for each body. Rs 25,000 for every poisoned lung and damaged heart and blinded eyes. 26 years of long wait. And just 2 years in jail for the men who committed the worst crime against the people of this country. And this mockery of justice after such a long wait. Twenty six years after 40 tonnes of lethal gas seeped into the lungs of Bhopal, families of some 17,000 men, women and children are still waiting for the so-called compensation. Thousands more are still waiting to be accepted as victims. People of Bhopal are still drinking toxic water poisoned by Union Carbide in December 1984. And the main culprit is living life kingsize in a mansion in New York.

No country sells its people so cheap.
No country sells its poor so cheap.
No country sells its dead so cheap.


Today – on the day of Bhopal disaster judgment -- if there is a failed state in the world, it’s India. It’s not Iraq. It’s not Somalia. It’s not Sudan. It’s India.

India – its government, judiciary and corporates – accepted the ridiculous amount of $450 million dollars for the people killed and maimed by methyl isocyanate leaked from the Union Carbide factory in the heart of Bhopal three decades ago. In all these years, the poor victims have done everything they could to get justice and compensation. They have cried and died on streets, sat hungry and faced police lathis on roads and filed court cases in the hope that one day they will get justice.

Today, they were denied justice. Today, they were told that they should be happy with the peanuts thrown at them by Union Carbide.  Today, India proved once again that it doesn’t care for its poor. Today, it was proved all over again that those who do politics in the name of poor in this country, always rule for the rich.

What justification does CBI have for not being able to produce Warren Anderson in court. The chairman of UC at the time of the gas attack (it was not an accident, the gas leak was caused because of cost-cutting steps taken by him) on the people of Bhopal, Anderson was arrested and later released on bail. He ran off to US in 1986 and we have not been able to find him or ask the US to extradite Anderson to India. Why? The government says it doesn’t know where Anderson is. What a lie. What a shame.

Last year, on a balmy July day, a bunch of victims danced on the streets after hearing news that the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal had ordered the CBI to arrest Anderson and produce him before the court without delay. The court also asked the CBI to explain what steps it had taken since 2002 to enforce the warrant and extradition of Anderson, who was declared an absconder in 1992. Though the CBI and US government failed to track Anderson, supporters of Bhopal victims traced him to the elite New York neighbourhood of the Hamptons. In 2003, Greenpeace activists paid Anderson a visit at his home and handed him an arrest warrant.

Today’s ridiculous judgment in Bhopal didn’t say anything on Anderson as he is a “proclaimed offender”. This status suits him fine because he doesn’t have to bother about coming to India and answer some very crucial questions:

 *Why did Union Carbide not apply the same safety standards at its plant in India as it operated at a sister plant in West Virginia, US?

*On the night of the disaster, why did the six safety measures designed to prevent a gas leak fail to function?

*Why was the safety siren, intended to alert the people living close to the factory, turned off?

The victims have always alleged that Bhopal happened because of negligence by the Union Carbide and that was caused by cost-cutting measures taken by Anderson. Is it because of this reason that Anderson has been 'hiding' in the US?

A criminal has a reason to hide, but what reason does our government have to let a mass murderer like Anderson go scot-free. Is it because he is an American? Can an American come to India kill people in this country and run away with no consequences? That seems to be the case. We are still struggling to get a chance to question David Headley Coleman, an American citizen responsible for the worst terror attack on an Indian city in 2008. Will we succeed in getting Headley extradited to India? No way. Never.

Today, India proved that it doesn’t really care for its people, particularly if they have been slaughtered by powerful people from the most powerful nation in the world. Instead of taking on America and fighting for justice for its poor, India is more than happy to sell its dead cheap. 


Rs 1 lakh for every body. Rs 25,000 for every blinded eye. This is the cost of poor life in a failed state.

Bhopal gas tragedy: 8 found guilty, get bail

BHOPAL: The seven Indian Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) officials convicted in the 26-year-old Bhopal gas tragedy case have been granted bail and released on submission of a surety of Rs 25,000 by a trial court in Bhopal, according to a Times Now report.

Earlier on Monday, eight accused, one of whom is deceased, were sentenced to two years in prison for causing death due to negligence.

Reacting to the development, representatives of the tragedy's victims and their families who have been protesting outside the court, said they would approach the Madhya Pradesh High Court to allow the slapping of more stringent charges against all those accused in the case.

The Magistrate court in Bhopal on Monday convicted all eight Indians accused in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy case. A Rs 500,000 fine has been imposed on UCIL.

Toxic gas leak from a Union Carbide pesticide factory in 1984 killed thousands and left an unspecified number battered with diseases and deformity - the toll of victims is still rising.

Despite Monday's conviction, there is little closure for victims. Legal experts have alleged that there was an attempt to cover up the case. It took the CBI three long years to file a chargesheet that many believed was weak. Then in 1996 the charges were watered down making all sections carry the maximum punishment of 2 years.

The charges were also all bailable and with the prime accused in the case - former Union Carbide (USA) chairman Warren Anderson still on the run and unlikely to present himself in Indian court, there is little hope that justice will be served.


Anderson: The man who got away in Bhopal gas case
Chidanand Rajgahtta,

Long before British Petroleum, there was Union Carbide; long before David Headley aka Daood Gilani, there was Warren Anderson.

As legal proceedings in the Bhopal gas tragedy meanders on, its torturous path over 26 years a travesty of justice to many, two principals associated with the disaster have faded from sight even as newer culprits in most recent outrages (BP oil spill and Mumbai's 26/11 massacre) are in the spotlight.

Union Carbide, the American chemical company that became notorious for the world's worst industrial disaster, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company. And Warren Anderson, Union Carbide CEO, at the time of the disaster and until his retirement in 1986, declared an absconder and a fugitive from justice by an Indian court, lives in relative anonymity and seclusion in Long Island, New York.

Both have washed their hands off the Bhopal disaster. Union Carbide says its officials were not part of this case since the charges were divided long ago into a separate case. "Furthermore, Union Carbide and its officials are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Indian court since they did not have any involvement in the operation of the plant, which was owned and operated by Union Carbide India Ltd, (UCIL)" a spokesman for the company told Wall Street Journal.

The company maintains that the Bhopal plant was designed, owned, operated and managed on a day-to-day basis by UCIL and its employees and all those convicted are the "appropriate people from UCIL — officers and those who actually ran the plant on a daily basis have appeared to face charges."

"I want you to know that Union Carbide continues to have the utmost respect and sympathy for the victims of the tragedy and their families. Union Carbide did all it could to help the victims and their families from Day 1 right up through the settlement with the Indian government," the spokesman added.

Anderson isn't talking. He hasn't spoken on record on the subject for nearly two decades. Now nearing 90, he lives with his wife Lillian in a million-dollar home in the swish Long Island neighbourhood of Bridgehampton, avoiding social contact and hiding from the media and activists who have struggled long to bring him to justice.

When Casey Harrell, a Greenpeace activist, visited his home in 2002 to serve him a warrant, he refused to identify himself and pretended to be someone else.

A neighbour also tried to throw Harrell off-track saying he was someone else and blurting out that he had nothing to do with the Bhopal disaster (even though Harrell hadn't mentioned anything about the disaster).


Bhopal gas case: SC shot down move to slap tough charges
Dhananjay Mahapatra ,


NEW DELHI: It will be unkind to blame the trial court for handing out mild punishments to the Bhopal gas leak accused whose collective negligence caused an industrial catastrophe. For, the court's decision to frame charges against them under Section 304-II of IPC — that attracts a maximum jail term of 10 years — was set aside by the Supreme Court itself on September 13, 1996.

Appearing for CBI, then additional solicitor general Altaf Ahmed had argued before the SC that the accused knew about the potential danger of the lethal gas escaping and hence should be tried under the stringent provision.

"There was ample material produced by the prosecution in support of the chargesheet which indicated that all the accused shared common criminal knowledge about potential danger of escape of the lethal gas — MIC — both on account of the defective plant which was operated under their control and supervision at Bhopal and also on account of the operational shortcomings detected by the Varadarajan expert committee," Ahmed had said in court.

However, a bench comprising then Chief Justice A M Ahmedi and Justice S B Majmudar disagreed. "On our finding that the material pressed in service by the prosecution does not indicate even prima facie that the accused were guilty of an offence of culpable homicide and, therefore, Section 304-II was out of the picture, Section 304-A on this very finding can straightaway get attracted at least prima facie," the bench said. It then quashed the charge framed against the accused under Section 304-II.

As legal experts decried Monday's verdict and activists involved in rehabilitation of the victims termed it a mockery of justice, TOI tracked down Altaf Ahmed in Dubai. Ahmed expressed disappointment, not with the trial court verdict but with the SC's 1996 judgment.

"The dilution of the charges against the accused persons in 1996 by the Supreme Court was very sad and in my perception not justified," he said.

And why did he feel so, when the SC had gone through the evidence and CBI's chargesheet in detail while giving its 40-page judgment? Ahmed felt the apex court had erred by converting the charges from Section 304-II to Section 304A (death caused by a rash and negligent act, under which the BMW hit-and-run accused was tried). "The management of Union Carbide knew that necessary safety measures were not in place and a leak of the kind that resulted in the tragedy was a distinct possibility," he said.



END 25 YEARS OF INJUSTICE TO PEOPLE OF BHOPAL

 Shortly before midnight on 2 December 1984, thousands of tonnes of
deadly chemicals leaked from Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in
Bhopal, central India. Around half a million people were exposed.
Between 7,000 and 10,000 people died in the immediate aftermath and a
further 15,000 over the next 20 years.

Nearly 25 years later, the factory site has not been cleaned up. More
than 100,000 people continue to suffer from ongoing health problems.
Efforts to provide rehabilitation – both medical care and measures to
address the socio-economic effects of the leak – have fallen way short
of what is needed.

Many of those affected are still waiting for adequate compensation and
the full facts of the leak and its impact have never been properly
investigated. No one has ever been held to account for what happened
at Bhopal and efforts by survivors’ organizations to use the Indian
and US court systems to see justice done and gain adequate redress
have so far been unsuccessful.

Bhopal is not just a human rights tragedy from the last century – it
is a human rights travesty today. The legacy of Bhopal persists
because the people of Bhopal have never been able to claim their
rights. Moreover, the negative impacts of the leak are affecting new
generations. Studies have shown how the exposure to the toxic gas
causes long-term effects, which can continue in children born in gas-
exposed families.

For 25 years the Indian government has failed the people of Bhopal.
Promises have been repeatedly broken and no adequate action has ever
been taken to address the impacts of the gas leak.

No company can be allowed to evade responsibility for the impacts of
its operations. Union Carbide must be held to account for what
happened at Bhopal. Dow Chemicals, which now owns Union Carbide, must
cooperate fully with the Indian government and the courts in India to
ensure justice is done and the site is fully cleaned up.

 BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY 1984 -Bhopal, India

At the first instance the Government of India failed to ensure that
Union carbide India Limited (U.C.I.L) has installed proper safety
measures and fully implemented it in practice, at it's plant in
Bhopal. The Government of Madhyapradesh through it's labour
department, factory inspectorate & pollution control board failed to
enforce safety practices & environmental protection. In turn, the
U.C.I.L didn't install in full, the safety measures being followed by
it's parent company union carbide corporation (U.C.C) at it's
Various plants in the U.S.A. The U.C.I.L. didn't give community
training to residents of nearby localities, to cope up with
emergencies ie. Industrial accidents. U.C.I.L gave a go - by to safety
practices, as it treated Indian lives as cheap. The government of
Madhya pradesh instead of shifting slum dwellers around U.C.I.L, to
other safe place, gave them legal title deeds just months before the
tragedy in 1984.

Now, refer the following:-
1. After the accident at it's U.C.I.L. plant at Bhopal, India in 1984,
when the U.C.C.  Chairman/C.E.O. came over to Bhopal from U.S.A to
visit the accident site, local police arrested him on the charges of
manslaughter. However, the Government of India got him released.

2. In 1985, Government of India enacted "Bhopal claims Act" took- away
the right of appeal of all the Gas tragedy victims & declared itself
as the sole representative of all victims. This said act itself is
violative of victim's fundamental & human rights. The
victims didn't choose Government of India as it's representative under
will, agreement, trust or pleasure.

3. The paradox of this "Bhopal claims Act" is that, Government of
India which is also a party to the crime, tragedy, itself is the
appellant. The appellant (Petitioner),defendant are Government of
India, Prosecution by Government of India & Judged by Government of
India.

4. In 1989, when an appeal about interim compensation to be paid by
the U.C.I.L to all the victims was being heard in the apex court, the
supreme court of India without giving a chance to the victims to make
their point, without consulting them, without making a proper
assessment of damages/losses, gave an arbitrary figure as verdict &
dropped all civil, criminal proceedings against U.C.C.&U.C.I.L

5. In the same year 1989, the Government of India without consulting
the victims of disaster, without making proper assessment of damages/
losses, negotiated a settlement with the U.C.C. and in turn gave full
legal immunity to U.C.C.& U.C.I.L from civil &
Criminal proceedings

6. Even the Government of India didn't present the case of victim's-
gas tragedy victims, properly before the U.S.courts, where the U.C.C
is based. All these premeditated acts only benefited the criminals-
U.C.C&UCIL. Are not the supreme court of India & Government of India,
here to safeguard Indians and to safeguard Justice?

After all these crimes, the Government of India failed to distribute
compensation in time to victims. It has failed even to provide safe
drinking water to the residents near the accident site, It has failed
to provide comprehensive medical care to the victims, till
date . It has even failed to get the accident site cleared off toxic
wastes either by the culprit management or by it self, that too after
20 years. The very presence of these toxic wastes since 20 years is
further contaminating, polluting the environment and taking toll of
more victims.

Particularly in the case of "Bhopal Gas Tragedy" the supreme court of
India & Government of India are deadlier criminals than U.C.I.L&U.C.C.

Just consider a case here, Just a few years back an U.S.based M.N.C
ENRON set-up a power project in Maharashtra, India through it's
subsidiary. When Maharashtra state Electricity Board failed to lift
power from Enron& pay them monthly guaranteed revenue, Enron
threatened to invoke, open the "Eschrew Clause" with the Government
of India & to approach international arbiter U.K. Government of India
has stood as conter-guarantee in this case. Finally the Government
paid, of course subsequently the parent ENRON collapsed due to other
reasons. If in this case if Government of India failed to pay-up as a
counter guarantee & refused to comply with the award of International
arbiter, definitely Government of U.S.A. would have stepped into the
scene to protect it's MNC. Hypothetically, In the same vein if Enron
has caused damages to Indians either through negligence of safe
practices or industrial accidents or bank frauds
amounting over and above it's Capital base & insurance cover, then it
would have been the duty of parent Enron & Government of U.S.A. to
step in & pay-up.

In the same way, the U.C.I.L has caused massive damages to Indians &
refusing to pay commensurate to damages. Dow chemicals which took-
over U.C.C. is also refusing to pay. DOW chemicals which is the new
owner of U.C.C. naturally inherits both profits, credits lent &
liabilities to pay of U.C.C. Still it is refusing to pay. Now it is
the turn of Government of U.S.A. to cough-up the sum.

Nowadays, it has become routine for central & State ministers to go-
on foreign jaunts, to globe -trott inviting F.D.I/ M.N.Cs to India.
They do sign numerous agreements, only favouring MNC. When tragedies
occur or when they cheat Indian banks/ investors, it is Indians who
suffer. The ministers & bureaucrats thinks themselves as wizards and
enters into agreements with MNCs, industrialists in a hush-hush
manner, with vast scope for possible corruption. Is it not the duty of
government to be transparent ?
 


Bhopal gas case: ex-CBI men, Moily fight verbal war as Warren Anderson goes scot-free

New Delhi: Bhopal gas tragedy prime accused Warren Anderson’s failed extradition has kicked off a war of words between former CBI investigators and the law minister.
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Officers who probed the case but have now retired claim their hands were tied by government missives directing CBI not to pursue Anderson’s extradition.
In fact, the government had committed to the US that Anderson would not be arrested during his visit to Bhopal in the aftermath of the tragedy. Accordingly, he was allowed to return.
Former CBI joint director BR Lall, who briefly investigated the case, recalls receiving a letter from the ministry of external affairs to not pursue Anderson’s extradition.
“I distinctly remember receiving a routine letter which said Warren Anderson’s extradition may not be pursued. Normally, directions are not received through letters. It was a rare case,” he told DNA, making a case for greater autonomy to CBI.
“We [CBI] had responded to the letter that investigations required [Anderson’s] extradition,” Lall said.
His boss, former CBI jointdirector Joginder Singh, said there was little the agency could have done.
“CBI did its best to investigate the case fairly and push for Anderson’s extradition. But our hands were tied. In 1996, we got a major blow when the Supreme Court deleted criminal sections from the case.”
The CBI charge sheet mentioned section 304 IPC (culpable homicide with a maximum punishment of 10 years). However, the charges were watered down to 304 (a) (death due to negligence), usually used in cases of road accidents.
“With such a mild section, it is impossible to get an extradition anywhere. The moment 304 was quashed, half the case was lost,” Singh said.
Law minister Veerappa Moily refuted the allegations. Reacting sharply to Lall’s claims, he said, “After retirement people can give many statements. It is an irresponsible statement. This is not done at all. I think we need to do something to deal with such people who fail to discharge their duty and after retirement, try to become heroes or martyrs of the situation.”

New Delhi: A former senior CBI official, involved in the Bhopal gas leak case investigations, today claimed that the probe was "influenced", generating a strong reaction from law minister M Veerappa Moily who termed the remarks as "irresponsible."
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The officer, BR Lall, former joint director of the agency and in-charge of the probe also said he was forced by the ministry of external affairs officials not to follow extradition of Warren Anderson, the CEO of Union Carbide Corporation when the gas leak took place 26 years ago.
"CBI investigation was influenced and commanded by some officials, as a result the justice in the Bhopal Gas leakage case got delayed, hence, denied," said Lall, the CBI officer in charge of the investigation from April 1994 to July 1995.
However, Moily, while reacting to Lall's claim said, "After retirement, people can give many statement. It is an irresponsible statement. This is not done at all. After retirement, people become martyrs by making such statements."
Claiming that CBI was an "under command" organisation, Lall said, "We need to make it free from government control to
ensure transparency and fair probe. In other countries, all chief investigating agencies have been given autonomy by keeping it out of the control of the judiciary, bureaucracy and executive powers."
The charges by Lall came hours after a local court in Bhopal yesterday convicted former Union Carbide, India, chairman Keshub Mahindra and seven others for the world's worst industrial disaster, that left more than 15,000 dead on the intervening night of December 2-3 in 1984.
"I was told by the ministry of external affairs officials not to follow the extradition of Warren Anderson, which affected the CBI probe," Lall, who is now retired, further claimed.
After registering a case, CBI had filed its chargesheet under Section 304 IPC, which amounts to culpable homicide with maximum punishment of 10 years. However, the charges were later watered down to 304 (a), usually used in road accidents.
"I do not know what circumstances and evidences forced CBI or others involved in the proceedings to lower the section," he said.
However, MEA sources maintained that "in 2003, a request for extradition of Anderson was made to the US side under India-US bilateral extradition treaty. This request has already been reiterated on more than one occasion."
Anderson, 89, the then chairman of Union Carbide Corporation of USA, who lives in the United States, appeared to have gone scot-free for the present as he is still an absconder and did not subject himself to trial. There was no word about him in the judgement of the Bhopal court.

Anderson flew in, out of Bhopal in state govt's plane: Capt SH Ali

New Delhi: Claims that Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson had flown in and out of Bhopal in a state government plane was today strengthened by the aircraft's pilot.
''We got flight information from the then Director of Aviation R S Sodhi for a flight from Bhopal to Delhi and were told to keep the aircraft, a state government plane, ready,'' Captain Syed Hasan Ali claimed in an interview to a news channel.
He added that Anderson's identity was kept a secret from him. ''We did not know who he was,'' he said.
Capt Ali further claimed that Anderson was alone in the aircraft and looked upset and tired. ''As we waited for him, he came with the then SP and the District Magistrate of Bhopal. When we landed in Delhi, an ambassador picked him up from next to the plane and I left him with the airport manager,'' he claimed.
Capt Sodhi, seconding the pilot's claims, said it was on orders of Arjun Singh government that Anderson was allowed to fly.
''I had received a call from the office of the then Chief Minister, Arjun Singh, ordering to arrange Anderson's departure on December 7, 1984,'' Captain R S Sodhi claimed in an interview to a news channel today.
He alleged Anderson, a few hours after he came to know about his charges with culpable homicide, reached the airport where the Chief Minister's official plane stood waiting for him, along with senior bureaucrats and police officers.
The city's Superintendent of Police and the district magistrate, Moti Singh, waved to Anderson as he boarded Singh's plane, he said. Earlier, Moti Singh had also alleged that the then Chief Secretary of the state had called him to his room and told him to arrange for the flight of Anderson out of Bhopal.
''The then chairman Keshub Mahindra and UCIL's then managing director Vijay Gokhale after landing in Bhopal were taken into custody at the airport itself but soon after that, he and the district police chief were told by the Chief Secretary to get the US citizen released on bail and send him to Delhi by plane,'' he said.

 Bhopal gas tragedy : 'Rajiv Gandhi' helped Warren Anderson escape?

Courtesy : CNN-IBN. Warren Anderson, former chairman of the American parent company Union Carbide Corp responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, got out of India on the government’s order.

Moti Singh, who was the District Collector of Bhopal at the time of gas leak from the Union Carbide plant, said this to CNN-IBN on Wednesday.

He alleged Brahm Swaroop, Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh at the time, called him and the Superintendent of Police (SP) personally and asked him to release Anderson.

Anderson was arrested on December 7 but he was released the same day and flew out of Bhopal in a state government plane to New Delhi, said Singh. SeveralUnion Carbide officials were arrested on December 7 and kept at the company guesthouse after the gas leak on December 1, which was declared a temporary police station.

"At around 2 pm in the afternoon the Chief Secretary summoned me to his chamber in the Secretariat. We went there -- he (Chief Secretary) said Mr Anderson was to be released and sent to Delhi by plane which was awaiting him at the airport. We did legal formalities and Anderson was released on bail. He was put on the plane and he went to Delhi,” said Singh.

The former official said he was never given reasons why Anderson was being released. Singh claimed Anderson wanted to visited areas affected by the gas leak but he was told there was a threat to his life.

"He was reluctant to leave immediately. He said he wanted to see the affected areas and meet the people. I told him he was not welcome in Bhopal and that there was risk to his life and in no case he could be allowed to go to the affected areas.”

The former district collector claimed Anderson seemed casual and showed “symptoms of arrogance” but toned down when he was told that he was being released.

Singh recalls Anderson briefed him on how the deadly methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas "leaks, how it works” and what wind direction it will take. Singh says Anderson’s information tallied with what was happening in the city.

Anderson was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, grievous assault and killing and poisoning human beings and animals due to leakage of the MIC gas from theUnion Carbide's pesticide plant in Bhopal.

A Bhopal trial court on Monday convicted eight Indian officials of Union Carbide for their criminal negligence that triggered the world's worst industrial disaster, but Anderson was not mentioned in the judgment.

Law Minister Veerappa Moily on Tuesday told CNN-IBN the “case” against Anderson was not closed and blamed a former Central Bureau of Investigation officer, who had investigated the gas leak, of not pressing for the American’s extradition.


Bhopal gas tragedy : Warren Anderson released after deleting a 'charge'

Three days after the Bhopal gas tragedy, the police here had released the then Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson and two others on bail by "deleting" in the complaint a stringent charge under the IPC against them, trial court sources said today.

A perusal of court documents shows that the in-charge of the Hanuman Ganj Police Station, Surender Singh, had initially arrested Anderson, then UCIL chairman Keshub Mahindra and senior company official Vijay Prakash Gokhale at 10.10 AM on December 7,1984 in the presence of one Rakesh Kumar under various sections of IPC including 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

They were also charged with sections 304 A (causing death by negligence), 278 (making atmosphere noxious to health), 284 (negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance), 426 (mischief) and 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle, other animals).

Later, the police released the three, "deleting" the charge against them under Section 304, they said.

The sources said that police had no right to delete such a charge and in doing so they had exceeded their brief.

"If the charge had not been deleted, Anderson may not have been able to leave India," they said.

The CBI had later booked Mahindra and Gokhale under Section 304 which provides for prison term of 10 years. However, the Supreme Court had dropped the stringent section in the case.

Over 15,000 people were killed and thousands of others maimed when the deadly methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984.

Date : June 11th, 2010. News by Newsofap.com

Bhopal gas tragedy: Justice Ahmadi offers resignation

Bhopal: Former Supreme Court Chief Justice AH Ahmadi, facing flak for the 1996 verdict in the Bhopal gas tragedy case, has offered to resign from the post of Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust chairman.

Speaking to a daily, the former CJI said, “I will send a fresh application to the new Chief Justice of India asking to be relieved of the responsibility, though my previous application was pending with former CJI KG Balakrishnan.”

Justifying his stand, Ahmadi said that he had not committed any impropriety by agreeing to head a multi-million dollar trust set up by the Union Carbide after the gas leak.


Justice Ahmadi, who headed the bench in 1996 that converted the CBI charge under the stringent provisions of 304-II that provided for maximum of 10-year imprisonment to Section with two-year maximum imprisonment, said it was easy for people to talk and make allegations but judges have to work as per the system.

A two-judge bench headed by then CJI Ahmadi reduced the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder to causing death by negligence.

Giving his clarifications on the judgment, Justice Ahmadi rejected criticism of dilution of charge against Union Carbide executives in Bhopal gas tragedy case, saying in criminal law there was no concept of vicarious liability.

He also lamented the lack of a law to deal with disasters of Bhopal kind and said law can be amended to provide for adequate punishment.

Few days back, an organisation of Bhopal gas victims disputed Justice Ahmadi's claim that no one had filed a review petition after the Supreme Court dropped charges of culpable homicide against the accused in the case.

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"Our organisation had filed a review petition but that was dismissed in 1996 by the Supreme Court, which was then headed by Ahmadi himself," the convenor of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangthan, Abdul Jabbar had said.

As the guilty had not been charged under Section 304 of IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), they were let off with imprisonment of only two years each, Jabbar claimed.

Justice Ahmadi, who had delivered the Bhopal gas tragedy case verdict in on June 09 1996, said he could not recollect whether a review petition was filed. However, he had earlier stated in a television interview that no review petition was filed.

Since retirement, Ahmadi has been presiding over Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust that runs a 350-bed superspeciality hospital. The trust was set up by Union Carbide.

A total of Rs 600 crore has gone into the trust, but its accounts are not in the public domain. The trust deed mandates that an SC judge should be its chairman and Ahmadi has been at its helm since retirement.

Man Who Warned of Bhopal Gas Leak

Congress spokesman Satyvrat Chaturvedi has defended former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi [ Images ] whose role in letting the guilty in the Bhopal gas tragedy get off lightly is under the scanner due to the public outcry over the recent judgment in the case -- 26 years after the event. On the night of 2/3 December, 1984, when deadly gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, Arjun Singh [ Images ] was chief minister of Madhya Pradesh [ Images ] and Gandhi was the prime minister of India [ Images ].
In the first few years after the tragedy, tremendous pressure was put up by the American corporate lobby and the government on India to save the US-based Union Carbide, the parent company, from civil and criminal liability.
As a result, at every little step, the law could not provide justice to the over 15,000 who died due to the gas leak. More than five lakh victims who suffered chronic diseases are struggling and pleading for help, even now.
The June 7 judgment of a local court in Bhopal, sentencing the convicted officials of the Indian arm of Union Carbide to a mere two-year sentence, has made the entire nation feel small and impotent before the might of the multinational corporations, the sluggish Indian justice system and its spineless political establishment.
The entire Bhopal saga was witnessed from close quarters by Rajkumar Keswani, an outstanding journalist, who had in fact foreseen this catastrophe. His work proves that the tragedy of Bhopal started much before December 3, 1984.
Two years before the Union Carbide factory leaked killer gas, he wrote in a weekly magazine called Rapat (news): 'Bhopal jwalamukhi ki kagaar par (Bhopal on the edge of a volcano)'.
Keswani has witnessed the entire saga of deception of the victims of Bhopal by the Indian and American governments and multinational corporations. He shares his agony in a telephonic interview with rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt.
You have been following the Bhopal gas leak case for 25 years. What was your first reaction on hearing the verdict on June 7?
I had no expectations on that day. The seed of this judgment was sown when a Supreme Court bench headed by then Chief Justice of India, A H Ahmadi, passed a judgment in 1996 that converted section 304 (II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian penal code to 304-A (causing death by negligence) to try the case. In 1996 we knew the fate of the Bhopal gas case. He diluted the charges filed against Union Carbide. What happened was the culmination of injustice that started with that judgment.
Was there a design behind this?
I can't say how it was done. But surely there was some design. Eventually, after retirement, Justice Ahmadi became the lifetime chairman of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust and Research Centre which has funds worth millions of rupees. Those millions, paid by Union Carbide for the poor victims, are under his control even now.
The dilution of charges helped (UCC chairman) Warren Anderson and Union Carbide in a big way, right?
When we talk about Union Carbide and Anderson, we must remember that they have never ever been subject to Indian laws. They have never appeared before an Indian court, nor have they lost anything due to Bhopal or benefited by the June 7 judgment. Our country's system gave them eternal protection from any legal proceedings. There was no serious attempt at all to bring Anderson to this country in the last 25 years.
Can you tell us what kind of evidence you had against the US-based Union Carbide Corporation, parent company of Union Carbide India?   
I started working on this story in 1981. That was the time when my friend Mohammad Asharaf was working in Union Carbide India Limited. He died due to exposure to phosgene gas. I had an idea that some hazardous chemicals are being used in the Bhopal factory. I reported on his death and then worked for nine months on knowing about the factory. I reported my first story in September 1982. In October that year I ran a series and wrote weekly reports against Union Carbide and the possibility of risk to human lives due to the chemicals in the plant. People treated me like a crazy man. They used to tell me, 'Arre aisa kabhi hota hai kya? Aisa kabhi hua hai kya is duniya mein?' (Do things like this happen? Have such things happened anywhere in the world?)
People in government, who were in the know of things, were hand in glove with the management of Union Carbide. They would trust Union Carbide more than anything else. Union Carbide was the only multinational at that time in a small city like Bhopal. Their reputation was such that it was difficult for anyone to believe that they could be negligent. It was very disappointing for me.
But what kind of evidence did you have against UCC of the US?
In 1982, an audit team had visited Union Carbide in Bhopal. They had inspected the plant and said that certain safety measures must be taken, otherwise there could be a gas leak. I printed the report of the visit of the audit team and their observations in Jansatta before the 1984 gas leak.
At 15 places in that report, they had written that safety measures are not proper and it could have a 'runaway' reaction. So the plant had problems before the leak in 1984. There is enough proof. Second, UCC, USA said they were not involved in the day to day running of the plant so they could not be made responsible. There are telex messages as proof which shows that the company in USA was totally involved in all the decisions of the company in Bhopal. They were sending instructions to Bhopal.
UCC India had a works manager named J Mukund (one of the accused who was convicted on June 7). He had sent a message asking for advice about coating the pipes. The US-based parent company sent him a message saying that the best material for piping would be too expensive and too difficult to acquire. How can UCC, USA escape their responsibility when they were advising Bhopal to economise on safety measures? They were telling Bhopal to use cheaper material. They were advising it to compromise on safety. Mukund's message was sent on August 27, 1984. Just a few weeks before the fateful leak.
Do you have the copies of those telex exchanges?
Yes.
Justice Ahmadi, when he diluted the charges against the company, didn't see these telex messages?
He saw what he wanted to see. Actually, there was a review petition of his order but he rejected it. We had sent messages to all the members of Parliament at that time to press for a review of the dilution of charges against the company. There are hundreds of documents that suggest that the parent company was involved in the running of the Bhopal company and they were aware of the problems in the plant. I submitted all of it in a US court too.
In 1982, I had documents to prove that safety measures in the plant were faulty. I managed to raise the Union Carbide plant issue in the MP assembly. The government denied any such threat, it is on record. The government denied my report and said there is a fool-proof system in the factory and there is nothing to worry about. The government said all these things in defence of Union Carbide in December 1982! I wrote to the Chief Justice of India in 1982 to intervene in the Bhopal factory. Nobody cared. I got no response.
Who played the bigger game in the Bhopal 'cover-up'?
Union Carbide Corporation, USA, played the game with the help of the Government of India and the government of Madhya Pradesh. If you find out how the settlement of 1989 was reached, you will know what I am saying is correct. The settlement was done with the Supreme Court's sanction. Carbide agreed to pay Rs 705 crore and the Government of India agreed to drop all civil and criminal cases against Union Carbide, which was later challenged in the court. Who did this? It was Rajiv Gandhi who made this settlement possible. It was the ultimate shame that the Government of India accepted money for the victims to quash criminal proceedings against UCC.
I challenged it in the court with the help of Indira Jaising, my lawyer. Only after that petition was the criminal case revived in June 1989. Anyone can understand what the role of the Government of India has been in helping victims.   
It's very intriguing to see that after the Bhopal tragedy innumerable NGOs, from stalwarts like Indira Jaising to hundreds of local community leaders, fought for the victims but nothing came out of it. Why such a total failure?
This is a very serious question. I am also worried about it. I don't know if I should say anything on it.
But so much has been done by the foot soldiers of civil society. All over the world the victims have sympathisers. Still justice was not done. Why?
These are voices only. In society today only a loud bang is heard. That can be done by the television media. If the people would have reacted in a similar manner in 1996 to Justice Ahmadi's decision, the Bhopal verdict would have been different.
How do you look at the Bhopal judgment?
I think the judge in his wisdom has not spoken much on (UC India chairman) Keshub Mahindra's role. We have a grouse against it. It should be challenged. The Indian managers were equally responsible.
In Bhopal, during these 26 years, has Keshub Mahindra ever said sorry?
No. Rather, they have been manipulating the case. I have evidence to say so.
Who are the guilty men of Bhopal?
There is Union Carbide Company who compromised safety for profit. There was the Indian government who could not withstand the might of the multinationals. The cause of the tragedy was Union Carbide, but the injustice was due to the slow process of the judiciary and the Central Bureau of Investigation. The investigating agency became a partner in crime.
Who helped Anderson? Who executed the operation to get him out of India on December 7, 1984?
The American government and the US embassy put pressure on the Indian government. They put pressure on the Prime Minister's Office. Rajiv Gandhi, reportedly, asked Arun Singh to ensure Anderson's release. Chief Minister Arjun Singh didn't convey to New Delhi [ Images ] the popular sentiments on the ground in Bhopal.
We reported these things then. We have no recordings of it now but we reported though our sources.
You are fighting since 26 years but now you see all around that people are reacting sensitively. There is a feeling of anguish and frustration. How do you see the new-found interest in the Bhopal case?
This is due to the new media and the images on television. Yeh TV ka kamal hai. These days, we are dictated by images on TV. They make us cry and they make us laugh. It is good, and even bad sometimes. In the case of Bhopal tragedy it is good that TV is shaking our memories.

Police released Anderson after 'deleting' stringent charge

Three days after the Bhopal gas tragedy, the police here had released the then Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson and two others on bail by "deleting" in the complaint a stringent charge under the IPC against them, trial court sources said today.

A perusal of court documents shows that the in-charge of the Hanuman Ganj Police Station, Surender Singh, had initially arrested Anderson, then UCIL chairman Keshub Mahindra and senior company official Vijay Prakash Gokhale at 10.10 AM on December 7,1984 in the presence of one Rakesh Kumar under various sections of IPC including 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

They were also charged with sections 304 A (causing death by negligence), 278 (making atmosphere noxious to health), 284 (negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance), 426 (mischief) and 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle, other animals).

Later, the police released the three, "deleting" the charge against them under Section 304, they said.

The sources said that police had no right to delete such a charge and in doing so they had exceeded their brief.

"If the charge had not been deleted, Anderson may not have been able to leave India," they said.

The CBI had later booked Mahindra and Gokhale under Section 304 which provides for prison term of 10 years. However, the Supreme Court had dropped the stringent section in the case.

Over 15,000 people were killed and thousands of others maimed when the deadly methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984.

MP CM seeks explanation from Arjun Singh on how Anderson fled

New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday said that his government will go to any extent to get justice for Bhopal gas victims and demanded an explanation from then Chief Minister Arjun Singh on how former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson fled the country.

"We will go to any extent to get justice for the victims...This is not an issue of Bhopal or the state. It should act as an example of how to give punishment in such cases," he told reporters here.

Noting that the people of the state felt "let down" following the gas tragedy verdict, Chouhan said he has written to Arjun Singh and asked for a reply on the circumstances that led to Anderson's escape.

"Let Arjun Singh explain it. Whether he did it (gave permission for providing state aircraft) himself or anybody told him to do so. We want a reply from him if a wrong direction was given. And after all, why such a direction was given.

"There are lot many questions like why the CBI filed no appeal when the charges in the case were diluted in 1997. If he gives a statement, things would be clear. The state and the country want to know these circumstances," he said.

Chouhan said a five-member team of legal experts has been set up by the state government to look into the issue and examine what could be done legally to get Bhopal gas victims justice. The interim report of the team would be out in the next ten days, he said.

Asked about the conflicting statements of Congress leaders like Digvijay Singh and Satyavrat Chaturvedi on Anderson fleeing the country, Chouhan said he did not want to politicise the issue but added that this was only leading to confusion.

"Somebody is saying the Centre is responsible while somebody else says the issues comes under the state. Different people are speaking in different voices...One wants to protect somebody while the other wants to trap someone else.

"This is leading to confusion... Arjun Singh should speak the truth. What other Congress leaders are speaking is only bringing out the contradictions within the Congress party," he said.

He said that his government is open to all options and will decide after the committee report on whether to constitute a probe commission go into the lapses or take up the issue with US courts.


CBI failed to act on warrant against Anderson last year

Bhopal: The trial court in the Bhopal gas tragedy case had issued an arrest warrant against former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson last year but the CBI had failed to give any written response to it, according to court sources.

They said the warrant, the second against Anderson, was issued by Chief Judicial Magistrate Mohan P Tiwari on July 2, 2009 but the CBI did not give any written response to it.

Anderson was the chairman of the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) at the time of the disaster in December 1984 which left over 15,000 people dead.

Instead, they said, a CBI official met Tiwari and orally conveyed to him that for the agency, Anderson's case had been closed.

The first court warrant against Anderson was issued in 1992.

Direction to release Anderson must have come from CM: Ex HS

New Delhi: Former Madhya Pradesh Home Secretary K S Sharma on Friday said that the then Chief Minister Arjun Singh may have given directions to officials to release former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson.

Sharma, who was the Home Secretary when the Bhopal gas tragedy took place, said the pressure to release Anderson must have come from the Chief Minister as "no officer would take such a step without direct instructions from the government".

"Right from the beginning there had been some soft approach towards the whole thing otherwise he (Anderson) would have not been kept in a guest house when he was in custody. Releasing an accused of such a heinous crime on the same day means there was a tremendous pressure," he said.

"...It is difficult to say from where this pressure came but certainly the pressure from Chief Minister on officials must have been there because no officer would take such a step without direct instructions from government."

Sharma claimed despite being the Home Secretary he was not kept in the loop and "not informed about Anderson's release."

To a question whether there was pressure on Arjun Singh, he said: "This is not known to me whether there was some pressure on Arjun Singh or not...I did not discuss with Chief Minister Arjun Singh. I really do not know.

"But he certainly gave (some) instructions because the Collector had said the Chief Secretary told him. The Chief Secretary should not have told him. The Chief Secretary should not have passed on these instructions without very strong instructions from the Chief Minister," he said.

He also questioned the Government's decision to keep Anderson in a guest house after his arrest and termed the grant of bail to him as illegal.

"It is certainly unusual. Although in a few cases it does happen but it is when the offence is not heinous and the person is respectable. But so far as this case is concerned, 15,000 persons have died and keeping accused in rest house was certainly, I would say, very unfortunate and shouldn't have been done," Sharma said.

"When the case, which was registered under Section 304 which is a non-bailable cognisable offence in which the bail can only be granted by Sessions court after the discussions and arguments by both sides. Therefore the grant of bail in my view was illegal," the former bureaucrat said.

"In a high profile case, in which so many persons died and somebody who had come from the US has been arrested and if he has been released same day on bail, not informing me or not keeping me in the loop, not consulting me was certainly not normal. In such cases the Home Secretary is always consulted."

Sharma said the then Bhopal Superintendent of Police had informed him about Anderson's arrest and he was not aware that he was released on bail.

"Whether there was pressure or not, I am not aware because till his release I was not in the loop. I was not consulted at all. So I have absolutely no information whether there was pressure to release," Sharma said.

Congress denies Rajiv had a role in Anderson escape

New Delhi: The Congress party on Friday strongly rejected a former prime ministerial aide P.C. Alexander's indication that the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had helped Warren Anderson, the CEO of Union Carbide Corp in 1984, escape from the country within days of Bhopal gas tragedy.

Alexander reportedly stated that Gandhi and then Madhya Pradesh chief minister Arjun Singh were directly in touch with each other over the escape of Anderson from the country barely days after the world's biggest industrial disaster in Bhopal Dec 2-3, 1984.

Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said there "is nothing unusual" in a prime minister and a chief minister being in constant touch with each other.

She said the Group of Ministers for Bhopal gas tragedy would "gather all information and put it before the people".

Saving Democracy From The Corporate Veil
By Gopal Krishna
Five things the US should do to quell the global outrage after the recent verdict in the Bhopal gas leak case and provide some justice to the victims
The labour pains for giving birth to an understanding of a trans-national corporation, the scope of its civil and criminal liability, its corporate veil and the chemical disaster of Bhopal is still far from over. By now it is clear that unless US government decides to act no one else can get to the bottom of the most complex industrial catastrophe known to mankind in the 20th century. Without the helpful intervention by the US President Barack Obama, the litigation process will never be able to provide justice to the victims and penalise the natural and artificial culprits.
As democracies, like Indian government, is it time for US government too to act as parens patriae (guardian) for the past, present and future victims of Bhopal in particular and for justice seeking people of the world. The parens patriae doctrine which was deemed as a pioneering innovation in jurisprudence was invoked for the protection of all victims of disaster but was sabotaged.
While government of India enacted itself as parens patriae, Dow Chemicals Company (after Union Carbide's merger in 2001) and its agent in the government have enacted for themselves a similar role for the global community of the trans-national corporations against justice seeking victims.
The global outrage against such sabotage stage-managed under the guidance of US government that has become evident in the aftermath of the June 7 verdict merits President Obama's intervention to set matters right. Taking recourse to judicial escapism instead of acting to evolve a jurisprudence of liability for corporations gravely endangers people's trust in democracy everywhere.
The deafening silence of the US president and legislature to ensure justice to the victims of corporation engineered mass disaster if not broken would constitute "yet another instance of American imperialism" in the words of US Judge Keenan who heard the Bhopal case in New York district court.
Unaccountable and ungovernable corporations are a threat to all the democracies. If democracy in US and India is indeed non-negotiable, it merits global efforts to Dow Chemicals and Warren Anderson accountable. This is required to fix the liability of a trans-national corporation. In a historic and touching "extraordinary act a foreign sovereign government seeking justice in an American court", India had appealed to the democratic judicial system of US for relief in the matter of industrial disaster of Bhopal caused by a US multinational corporation. How democratic governments of US and India respond to provide legal remedy sets a precedent that either legitimises or delegitamises its very existence.
The government of India filed a suit on September 5, 1986 for damages in the court of district judge, Bhopal (Regular Civil Suit N. 113/86) against the US company, Union Carbide Corporation, Connecticut, USA on behalf of all the persons, who have suffered damages due to Bhopal gas leak disaster praying for "a decree for punitive damages in an amount sufficient to deter the defendant Union Carbide and other multinational corporations involved in similar business activities from willful, malicious and wanton disregard of the rights and safety of citizens of India." The Indian government noted in its reply in the court that Union Carbide's management policies, states that "it is the general policy of the corporation to secure and maintain effective management control of an affiliate."
If the US is indeed a democratic state, its constitution is still alive then it must make corporations like Dow Chemicals and British Petroleum liable and accountable for their acts of omission and commission. The following steps are required in US towards that end:
1. The US government should accept the above submission of the government of India that "the corporation and its subsidiaries are treated as a unit, without regard to the location of responsibility within that unit". Consequently, an illegal act by it be deemed as the act of the corporation, without consideration to its location of responsibility. The customary alibi of corporations like Dow Chemicals is an act in sophistry designed to conceal fact of crime and criminals of the upper-world. The US government should disclose all the trade secrets of the Union Carbide Corporation and its research and development centre that Union Carbide operated in Bhopal since 1976 that was suspected to be experimenting with wartime use of chemicals. This suspicion regarding the disaster being a consequence of experimenting with war time chemicals is yet to be probed. US government should undertake and facilitate such probe.
2. The US government must take note of the verdict by the chief judicial magistrate, Bhopal, wherein it is stated, "Warren Anderson, UCC USA and UCC Kowlnn Hong Kong are still absconding and therefore, every part of this case (criminal file) is kept intact along with the exhibited and un-exhibited documents and the property related to this case, in safe custody, till their appearance". In the interest of justice for the Bhopal victims, the US government should expedite the process of extraditing Anderson at the earliest.
3. Dow Chemicals Company has set aside $2.2 billion to address future asbestos-related liabilities arising out of the Union Carbide acquisition. How is that Dow Chemicals can take the asbestos liability of Union Carbide and not the liability for the industrial catastrophe in Bhopal? The US government should volunteer its assistance in ascertaining the Bhopal disaster's inherited liability of Dow Chemicals Company.
4. The US government should promote acceptance of the resolution of UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights that approved the 'UN norms on the responsibilities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises with regard to human rights' as a step towards ensuring corporate accountability. Article 18 of the norms called on trans-national corporations and other business enterprises to make reparations for damage done through their failure to meet the standards spelled out: "Transnational corporations and other business enterprises shall provide prompt, effective and adequate reparation to those persons, entities and communities that have been adversely affected by failures to comply with these norms through, inter alia, reparations, restitution, compensation and rehabilitation for any damage done or property taken. In connection with determining damages, in regard to criminal sanctions, and in all other respects, these norms shall be applied by national courts and/or international tribunals, pursuant to national and international law."
5. In memory of victims of Bhopal, the US and Indian governments should call for a mandatory regime for regulating trans-national corporations unlike UN's voluntary global compact and reject the report of the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Representative for Business and Human Rights wherein it underlined the need for voluntary regulation and self compliance by the companies saying, "While corporations may be considered organs of society, they are specialised economic organs, not democratic public interest institutions.
If there is one lesson that democracies across the world have clearly not learnt from industrial disasters, it is to ascertain the nature of all the genocidal acts of corporations and the very legal design of the corporation so as to make it genuinely governable by democratic legislatures. A befitting tribute to victims of Bhopal lies in learning this lesson in order to prevent future industrial warfare that irreparably undermines intergenerational equity.

The Cost Of An Indian Life
By Dr. Vispi Jokhi

Twenty-six years ago the people of Bhopal were exposed to a lethal gas in one of the world's worst industrial accident. But, was it an accident? The answer is contrary to popular perception a resounding "No". Because we as a nation have rulers who have devalued our lives to such an extent that we have not one but many Bhopals which have occurred in the past, which occur daily and will continue to do so in the future and we will not even notice or see and raise even a whimper of protest any of these events.
To just list a few examples I would like to mention more than a lakh suicides by farmers all over the country, sub-saharan levels of hunger poverty and destitution, high infant and maternal mortality due to lack of sanitation and clean drinking water and primary health care facilities, callous displacement of tribals and the poor in the name of large dams, factories, mines, SEZ's, factories, ports. I can go on and on. But is it only the Government who needs to be blamed? Are we all not guilty with our apathy and complicit acceptance of these policies of successive governments? Our obsession with GDP, sensex driven growth has led to wanton destruction of the environment and massive unrest among the poor and dispossessed masses of India. Besides the above issues, India loses so many human lives to natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, drought and such other phenomenon. All this was accepted as our karma when we were ruled by the Englishmen, but in 1947 our rulers gave us a constitution which pronounced that we became a sovereign socialistic secular republic where all citizens are equal before the law.
Our "chalta hain " attitude and disregard for rule of law and poor civic sense are responsible for state of our nation today. We need to turn the mirror to our own faces and correct ourselves. Our non-caring so long as the issue is not directly related to us is completely wrong as we must realize that in the welfare of all lies our own welfare. Discipline, civic sense, compassion for our poor unseen brethren, moderation in all aspects of life are the stepping stones to reversing the reasons for the Bhopals. We must put a value to the life of every Indian and not allow people to become mere statistics. Accountability, rule of law and equality before law must be the corner stones of the future path of our nation.
Bhopal is a mere symptom of a deep rooted disease which needs to be tackled by systemic change and course correction in favor of a sustainable economic growth pattern based on human happiness sound ecological principles. I do not see any attempt to do this in all the sound and fury of the outrage which the Bhopal verdict has elicited among the middle class.
http://vhjokhi.blogspot.com

INDIA: Obama administration official supports corporate interests over victims of world's worst industrial disaster

Deputy National Security Advisor Froman reveals administration’s double standards on corporate accountability for victims of Bhopal Gas Disaster

At a time when the world is focused on corporate accountability in the wake of the BP's Gulf Oil Spill, a leaked email from the Obama administration shows that it values profit over people, when the profit benefits American corporations. The victims of the world’s worst industrial disaster were disappointed to see today that the White House is not pursuing the same levels of accountability from American Dow Chemical as it has from BP. When Dow purchased Union Carbide in 2001, the corporation acquired outstanding liability for the ongoing disaster in Bhopal, which has led to the deaths of an estimated 25,000 people in Bhopal, India following the 1984 Gas Disaster.

Today, Mumbai-based Times Now published an email chain between White House Deputy National Security Advisor Michael Froman, and Indian Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia. In response to an Ahluwalia’s email requesting assistance as India faces a sharp restriction in the World Bank’s lending, Froman replied:

"We are aware of this issue and we will look into it. We are hearing a lot of noise about the Dow Chemical issue. I trust that you are monitoring it carefully. I am not familiar with all the details, but I think we want to avoid developments which put a chilling effect on our investment relationship."

Here Obama’s Deputy NSA apparently tied potential development aid to India with Dow Chemical’s liability in Bhopal. The White House denies any linkage between the IBRD lending and Dow’s ongoing lack of responsibility. Forman’s statement shows callous disregard for ongoing injustice and lack of accountability 26 years after the disaster. The survivor organizations in India, 5 of which have been protesting in Delhi this past month, have faced infringements on their basic rights, especially through discriminatory police abuse. A threatening statement from the Obama office could further repressive action from Indian Central Government of India.

Following months of safety cuts, on Dec 3, 1984 the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal leaked deadly gas containing Methyl isocyanate (MIC) over the city ofBhopal. In the immediate aftermath 8-12,000 people died. Currently the death toll has risen to approximately 25,000 people. Over 100,000 people are still too sick to work because of long-term health disability.

The Indian Government has been forced to address the Bhopal issue in the recent months following a June 7 verdict convicting the officials of Union Carbide's former Indian subsidiary on charges of criminal negligence. The charges and sentence, equivalent to a traffic violation, enraged the Indian public, as did the fact the Union Carbide and its former CEO Warren Anderson have refused to appear in court to face charges of culpable homicide. Bhopal survivors say that Dow Chemical should not be allowed to continue doing business in India until its subsidiary appears in court and cleans up the site of the disaster.

The International Campaign for Justice for Bhopal (ICJB) is a coalition led by four survivor organizations along with environmental, social justice, progressive Indian, and human rights groups around the world. ICJB works to hold the Indian Government and Dow Chemical Corporation (the current owner of Union Carbide) accountable for the ongoing chemical disaster in Bhopal, India. It was set up to address the grave injustices suffered by the half million Bhopal Gas Disaster survivors. 

Bhopal and the BP Oil Spill: A Tale of Two Disasters

By Madhur Singh

As BP struggles to contain the damage the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has caused to the Gulf of Mexico and to the people whose livelihoods depend on its waters, a legal judgment in the worst industrial catastrophe in history highlights how wrong the aftermath of such disasters can go — not just in terms of a cleanup but in the matter of justice. It is a terrifying lesson in how a corporation can evade full responsibility for one of the most heinous accidents in human history.

On Monday, more than 25 years after 40 tons of highly toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) was released from a Union Carbide plant in the central Indian city of Bhopal — killing thousands in a matter of hours and over years, rendering hundreds of thousands seriously ill and causing genetic defects in yet-to-be-born generations — a local court announced its verdict. It held eight former employees of Union Carbide India Ltd guilty of criminal negligence and sentenced seven of them to two years in prison and a fine of $2,100. (The eighth defendant died during the course of the 23-year trial.) The convicted former employees were out on bail — of just $500 each — in less than two hours. Union Carbide India, which no longer exists, was fined less than $11,000. (See the legacy of the Bhopal disaster.)
The judgments are likely to be appealed. Given the speed of the wheels of justice in India, the case is likely to outlast most of the Bhopal survivors and the accused. The most prominent name in the latter category is Warren Anderson, the American CEO of Union Carbide, the U.S. parent company. He is now 89 years old. Arrested by Indian police when he visited the disaster site, he was released on bail and flew out of the country. He continues to be a fugitive from Indian law and hence has not been tried. (He is believed to be living somewhere in New York state.) At the same time, no one has been assigned responsibility for cleaning upBhopal's ground zero, which researchers and activists say continues to leach toxic chemicals into the groundwater, used by thousands of families. (See TIME's 1984 cover story on the Bhopal disaster.)
The outcome of the case has ignited outrage and disbelief across India. No less than the Law Minister and a former Chief Justice have said justice has been delayed and denied. The Economic Times newspaper led its front page with the headline "After 25 Years, Another Tragedy Strikes Bhopal." "We are used to being let down," says Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action, her voice catching as she spoke to TIME by phone, "by our government ... now even the judiciary."
The letdowns have been serious and repeated — and apparently preordained because of decisions that facilitated the disaster itself. Investigations over the years have shown that the Bhopal plant design was faulty and that there was next to no emergency preparedness — issues that the parent company in the U.S.apparently knew about, according to the groups that conducted the studies. The company was operating in India with standards unacceptable in the U.S. (See pictures of the Gulf oil spill.)
The Indian government seemed to go out of its way to cushion the experience for Union Carbide. After first suing the company for $3.3 billion in 1985, New Delhiannounced an out-of-court settlement of $470 million in February 1989. Then a 1996 ruling by another Supreme Court judge watered down the charges against the accused from culpable homicide (with maximum punishment of 10 years' jail term) to criminal negligence (maximum sentence two years).
The various governments that have ruled India in the meantime have not taken on Union Carbide, which is now owned by Dow Chemical. Meanwhile, Keshub Mahindra, chairman of Union Carbide India Ltd at the time of the Bhopal disaster and now chairman of India's automobile giant Mahindra & Mahindra, was nominated for a civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan, in 2002. He had to decline in the face of widespread protests.
Although environmental legislation was ramped up in the wake of the Bhopal disaster, companies continue to operate in India in ways that severely — if not as dramatically — pollute the environment and impact people's health and livelihoods. Britain-based mining major Vedanta, for instance, has faced censure from Amnesty International for violating the human rights of communities in Orissa, where it operates bauxite mines. India continues to be the world's e-waste dump. Of late, the government, keen to attract foreign investment to its nascent nuclear energy market, has been pushing a bill to limit the liability of a nuclear-plant operator to $111 million. "We've learned nothing from Bhopal," says Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan. "There is a drive to attract foreign investment overwhelming all other considerations." Opposition parties have already demanded a rethink of the proposed legislation in the face of the Bhopal outcome. (See pictures of people protesting BP.)
There is still outrage that the U.S. refuses to extradite Warren Anderson to face criminal charges in India. New Delhi made the request in 2003, and it was refused the year after. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Robert Blake, reacting to Monday's Bhopal verdict, said, "I don't expect this verdict to reopen any new inquiries or anything like that. On the contrary, we hope that this is going to help to bring closure." The Bhopal activists now plan to file a writ petition in the higher court to admit more charges against Union Carbide and Anderson, seeking an as-yet-unspecified figure for personal and property damages, health monitoring and cleanup of the site, which is likely to run into billions of dollars.
Indians point at the way the U.S. government is now confronting BP — holding it squarely responsible for the oil spill and accountable for all cleanup costs — as a stark contrast to the way their own government has dealt with Union Carbide. The hope in India is that U.S. courts will be more amenable to the requests of Bhopal's victims now that America has a huge environmental disaster in its own backyard. The Bhopal activists say the Indian government must join the case in the U.S. as a plaintiff (indeed, it owns the land on which the Union Carbide factory was located). "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should be inspired by President Obama's recent commitment toward making BP pay every cent for its oil spill," says Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action. "And the U.S. government must follow the same standards on corporate liability for U.S. corporations operating in India as it expects for corporations operating in the U.S."
See the world's top 10 environmental disasters.
See pictures of critters caught in the Gulf oil spill.

BP and Union Carbide:
Corporate Responsibility or Corporate Liability

by Mukesh Williams

Two momentous events separate in time and location have seared our consciousness—the British (Beyond) Petroleum Gulf Coast oil spill on April 20, 2010 and the American Union Carbide Bhopal Gas Tragedy in December 3, 1984. Twenty five years separate these two environmental and human disasters but the greed of big multinational corporations in connivance with state and central agencies still remains insatiable. With a keen eye on profit, big companies compromise safety standards, falsify data, overstate their strength, underestimate their drawbacks, bribe officials, lobby for protection and misinform the public. It is rather difficult to fuse ethical economic standards with ravenous profit-making schemes. Though oil and gas stink most multinational corporations love it.

The neo-classical model of economics has reduced our land and environment to a mere abstraction that can be exploited in terms of supply and demand without compunction. Big companies continue to wreck havoc on our human and natural systems devastating our lives in the name of human progress and development. At such moments we often wonder where is the fashionable concept called social corporate responsibility that is often taught as a philanthropic and ethical tool in business management departments to unsuspecting students. Corporate greed like all other forms of human greed need to be kept under strict check by international pay czars or up-to-date legislation based on global standards with teeth for swift punishment. Also the rhetoric of corporate companies must be separated from what they actually do, how long they do what they do, and what they hide. A constant monitoring system both on the part of governments and private groups must be effectively installed in collaboration with the media to thwart their nefarious activities and ulterior motives.

Union Carbide Bhopal Gas Tragedy 1984

Early this month the Indian Supreme Court passed a verdict indicting the American CEO of Union Carbide Warren Anderson who was allowed to escape to the United States twenty five years ago possibly with the connivance of either the state or central agencies in India. Now both the Congress government and state ministries are trying to escape their involvement in the murky plot. Who wanted the truth then? And who wants the truth now? The declassified CIA report of December 8, 1984 and recent revelations by the principal secretary of Rajiv Gandhi, P. C. Alexander, point to political intrigue involving both state and center in releasing Anderson. Now some leaders claim that the worsening law and order situation in Bhopal in the wake of the accident forced Chief Minister Arjun Singh to provide a safe corridor to Anderson out of the country. Some like Rajinder Puri even see the direct hand of Rajeev Gandhi himself. It seems that US President Ronald Reagan phoned Rajeev Gandhi to release Anderson. The media would like us to believe that even P. Chidambaram and Kamal Nath were campaigning for Dow Chemical to get special concessions so it could invest in India. The chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi criticized Sonia Gandhi for the complicity of the Congress Party in the murky affair but it has come to light that he had signed an MOU between state public sector company Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd and Dow Chemicals in April 2008. This is the case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Seemingly neither the American nor the Indian establishments saw the industrial disaster as the responsibility of the MNC Union Carbide. The company was bought by Dow Chemical Company in 1999 further camouflaging accountability. Dow Chemical was the second biggest Texas polluting company in 2009 and paid 1.14 million USD on eight counts of pollution. Now it is investing again in India with the syrupy connivance of people in power.

Even after 25 years the public would like to know if it was Arjun Singh the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh or influential persons in Rajiv Gandhi’s government at the center or the prime minister himself responsible for giving a free passage to Anderson to fly back to the U.S. India has an extradition treaty with the United States and under changed circumstances today when America itself is suffering from another MNC BP, there might be possibility of bringing the fugitive CEO back to justice if India can put together enough evidence. Greenpeace believes that in the 1982 safety audit of the Bhopal factory in the US addressed thirty safety hazards. Anderson knew about them and compromised safety standards causing the death of 20,000 people and affecting 578,000 to date. To make the tragedy reprehensible the out of court settlement made Union Carbide pay a sum of 470 million USD instead of 3.5 billion initially demanded, with each victim getting a measly sum of 550 USD in 1989. In the same year Exxon oil spill in Prince William Sound Alaska forced the company to pay 5 billion USD of which it paid half. Even today there is 425 tons of hazardous waste in Bhopal left by Union Carbide that needs to be cleaned. Who will do it—Dow Chemical or the Indian state government?

Anderson now 90 years lives in a luxury home worth 900,000 USD at 929 Ocean Road, Bridgehampton, Long Island, New York. He is now less of a fugitive and more of a monarch (Sonnenfeld, 1991). It is obvious that in many cases justice delayed is justice denied. Should we stop big companies from doing business? Should we impose heavy penalty on erring foreign companies? Or should we reform the slow and cumbrous judicial system? Jeremy Kahn writing in The Faster Times calls for judicial reform rather than protectionism (Kahn, 2010). The Indian Parliament is debating a law capping liability for foreign nuclear power companies involved in disasters to pay 100 million USD a pittance when compared to the US demand of 100 billion USD from BP. Then Indian law capping liability lacks teeth and may not cover non-nuclear companies. So they can pollute as of before.

British or Beyond Petroleum 

The British are desperate to save BP from going down by bringing silly arguments like BP has been a part of America since it merged with American energy Amoco in 1998 and acquired the Gulf of Mexico drilling rights (The Independent, “Cameron Warns Obama over Criticizing BP” 13 June 2010). The new British Prime Minister David Cameron has also chipped in underscoring the sustained “economic importance” of BP to both Britain and America. American President Barrack Obama however is needled by US senators, whose states have been ravaged by oil spills, to push for 100 billion USD compensation, which if realized would force BP to go bankrupt. The British media believes that Obama’s anti-British rhetoric is testing Anglo-American relations. Obama claims that American relation with Britain has not been affected. The environmental disaster caused by a British multinational company should have nothing to do with national identity but corporate liability. Obama has called BP the Swedish Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, who earns a fat cat salary of 3.8 million USD, to the White House for consultations.

The British are cut up with Obama’s off the cuff remark that he would have fired BP’s chief executive Tony Hayward if the latter had worked for him. With US pressure rising BP may not pay its quarterly dividends which are essential to maintain equilibrium for UK pension funds. The 6.7% shares lunge in the FTSE has adversely affected pension funds in the UK. If the status quo is not altered by American pressure groups BP might only have to pay 20 to 37 billion USD provided it can be proved that BP failed to meet safety regulations in the deep sea oil drilling.

Now BP is using two kinds of dispersants manufactured by Nalco—Corexit 9500 and Corexit EC 9527A. Corexit (deodorized kerosene) is banned in the United Kingdom as even 2.61 ppm can kill 50% of fish in 96 hours. The dispersants turn the oil slick into small particulates which settle on the sea bed and make things look clean on the surface, but they destroy marine life below. Corexit however is on the approved list of dispersants by the US Environmental Protection Agency though the EPA has advised BP to use less toxic dispersants. BP however refused citing lack of availability. The toxicity of the present dispersants increase when they get mixed with oil. BP has links with Nalco. BPs has poured 1,621,000 gallons of dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico to contain the oil spill and has ordered for an additional 805,000 gallons. The ill effects of the dispersant on humans can result in various diseases, reduced growth, kidney failure and death.

The British rely on BP as the national icon and savior of British deficit. Last year BP paid 1.4 billion dollars in taxes on its profits. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is too far away for the ordinary Britons but the pension funds and BP dividends are closer home.

It stands to logic that a “large, wealthy company” which is eager to pay 1.8 billion quarterly dividends to its shareholders and whose last year’s sales and operating revenues were 239 billion USD, should pay 100 billion USD in damages. Since the oil spill began on April 22, 2010 till June 15, 2010, 55 days have gone by. And if we estimate the oil spill at 50,000 barrels a day it comes to 27500000 gallons. If each gallon spill is fined 4300 USD as the US is suggesting the actual fine would come to 118,250,000,000 that is about 118 billion USD. These figures may not be exact and are vigorously contested by BP which would like to work with half the numbers. However the end is not in sight. According to BP officials it would not be before August that the spill can be contained. If this is true then the figure could be doubled and BP would have to pay damages amounting to all the revenue it earned through sales last year.

Both the American government and public are hopeful that since earlier erring companies like Texaco was forced into bankruptcy in 1987 after paying 10.53 billion USD claim, BP too would have to cough up huge sums. And BP’s reputation does not help a wee bit whatever they claim to the contrary in those daily briefings on the Internet. BP is known as one of the “ten worst corporations” in the world when evaluated on their environmental pollution and infringement of their human rights record. It also has the dubious distinction of being the most polluting company in the United States vis-à-vis EPA toxic release data of 1991. It has been fined 1.7 million USD for burning polluted gases at its Ohio refinery. It also paid 10 million USD fine to the EPA in July 2000 for mismanaging the US oil refineries. The US Public Interest Research Group or PIRG claims that between Jan 1997 and March 1998, BP was involved in 104 oil spills. Obviously a lot of wealthy shareholders, 37% on the British and 31 % on the American side do not want this to happen.

BP’s propaganda regarding its CSR is highly effective as it tries to highlight only the positive aspects of what it has done. In the past BP has invested some money in alternate fuel and green technologies but it has been criticized for proving private funds to public universities of the California Bay Area and closing down its green technology office in London. Its critics call its green technology projects as green washing projects. BP is also a leading producer of solar panels and holds 20% of the global market in this area and it uses this fact to great advantage for image building. It operates the ampm convenience store chain in the US and other countries and is the leading producer of wind power. It is also involved in funding local and international politics. It gave 5 million USD to democrats and republicans in 1990 and spent 16 million USD in lobbing at the US Congress. The moral of the story is that it is not as clean as it claims, nor concerned with the lives of common people unless it serves its purpose or national interest.

BP in its regional spill plan for the Gulf of Mexico and site plan for the Deepwater Horizon rig understated the dangers and overstated its preparedness in the eventuality of a leak. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal criticized BP for being ‘reactive’ and not ‘proactive’ from the very beginning. Now BP’s report is examined quite critically and it has been discovered that an expert professor listed in its 2009 response plan died in 2005. It lists walruses, sea otters, sea lions and seals as “sensitive biological resources” when none inhabit the Gulf of Mexico. Also names and phone numbers of marine specialists and marine network officers in Louisiana and Florida are not correct. The Justice Department has to find evidence that BP destroyed key documents or lied to the government (The Daily Yomiuri, June 11, 2010).

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is one of the modern movements like environmental or tribal movements that have become the buzz word in both business and academic circles. Both businessmen and academics are cashing upon the divine benefits of CSR making more money for their companies and jobs for their departments. Middle level managers and professors have extolled about the virtues of CSR with other buzz words such as people friendly, eco friendly and sustainable. We have come to hear about the unselfishly egalitarian aspects of CSR. It is really a wondrous transformation of the greed-driven capitalist economy of which the corporate system is a byproduct.

Most critics of CSR are not against it per se but against the recent hype associated with it as a panacea of all corporate evils. It is hard to believe that companies are out there not to make profit. We are not talking of basket cases but any company worth its salt aggressively markets itself to make real profit. And what’s wrong in it. Companies are floated for this very purpose both by the shareholders and managers. But in a changed climate of political advocacy of human rights against corporate greed, CSR seems to a new combative tool for companies to be both politically correct and make money as usual. The problem however is that if business corporations give an inch they take a mile.


Definitions and Objections to CSR

In the United States CSR is seen as philanthropy while others see it as improving society, workforce and government. There are arguments in favor of CSR where it is believed that it can support the social fabric of society and promote responsible business practices. But CSR is usually presented as a marketing strategy that articulates business performance rather than encompass social and ethical standards. The recent collapse of American business and manufacturing sectors has revealed the gap between CSR and actual self-regulation. Some CSR models take the company beyond the law into providing public benefits, increase sales, market shares, brand position, retain employees, reduce operating costs and increase investments (Baron, 2001 7-45). There are models of CSR that take into account competitive advantage, positioning, commitment, organizational integration, shareholder’s cooperation and self-correction. CSR helps to create a positive image of a company and brings it rich dividends. Though there are many definitions of CSR we must see CSR as the way business companies conduct their core business not the sops they give to society.

A common objection leveled against CSR comes from the advocates of the laissez faire system who complain that CSR infringes upon the human rights of company shareholders as company managers unilaterally divert company resources to society in the name of better management (Sternberg, 1999). Detractors of CSR complain that there should be a stakeholder claim in CSR as to how it is done. A business corporation should be fair and honest to both the shareholders and customers. CSR therefore depends on the model a company chooses and the reasons for its choice. If a company uses CSR for image building through philanthropy it leads to both ethical and human rights problems. You cannot give away money which ultimately belongs to someone else. On the flipside it also follows that if stakeholders possess sole rights they also should bear full responsibility when there are environmental or social disasters. However if a CSR model seeks a consensus of both stakeholders and company managers then it must become more open to the public. CSR must concentrate upon building customer relationships, attracting talented people, conducting risk management and building the company’s reputation.

Corporate Reputation and CSR

Corporate business companies such as BP or Coca Cola cannot ignore their reputation as about 90 to 95 percent of their assets are intangibles and the remainder immovable property. Big companies such as General Electric, IBM or Motorola use the rhetoric of CSR to show public responsibility and environmental concerns but while conducting hard-nosed bullying business practices are not so transparent in their dealings. A few years ago Sir John Browne of BP was praised for his aggressive promotion of BP while providing environmental leadership but now we come to know that all along BP compromised on safety costs in oil drilling. This is happening in a powerful country like the United States where both politics and laws are strong. Had it happened in a developing or a poor country, things would have been quite different. BP would have gotten away cheaply and Union Carbide once did.

CSR invariably works for companies and countries with resources and political clout. It is not for companies which are small and weak. Small companies fight for survival, cut costs to make ends meet and do not possess precious resources to waste on CSR. Nor can they follow up on legal battles if they come under the scanner. They function in a world of poverty, deprivation and loss.

Conclusion

It is no longer tenable to follow neo-classical economics of Smith, Mill and Bacon that the world is made for us and for us alone. We must eschew the economic theories of Pareto and Hayek as we can no longer treat nature as a mere variable and commodity. Depreciation of ecological assets has taken place at an increasing fast rate. Economics should no longer be about inflation, economic value of goods or maximization of income. It should take into account our natural world as property that belongs to every one of us (McNeill, Padua, Rangarajan, 2010 1-3). We must learn new lessons from ecological economics and environmental history and change the way we do business. We must rein in corporate greed by modifying corporate social responsibility (CSR) to corporate legal liability (CLL) and connect it to governmental deterrence, legal action and international treaties to scare the hell out of the merchants of greed and death who have many supporters in different parts of the world.




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Contact : naghrw@yahoo.com , nagarajhrw@hotmail.com    ,

UID  Aadhaar  No  :  5703  5339  3479 

C
ell : 0 9341820313

I ,NAGARAJA.M.R. hereby do declare that information given above are true to the best of my knowledge & belief. If i am repeatedly called to police station or else where for the sake of investigations , the losses i do incurr as a result like loss of wages , transportation , job , etc must be borne by the government. prevoiusly the police / IB personnel repeatedly called me the complainant (sufferer of injustices) to police station for questioning , but never called the guilty culprits even once to police station for questioning , as the culprits are high & mighty . this type of one sided questioning must not be done by police or investigating agencies . if anything untoward happens to me or to my family members like loss of job , meeting with hit & run accidents , loss of lives , death due to improper medical care , etc , the jurisdictional police together with above mentioned accussed public servants will be responsible for it. Even if criminal nexus levels fake charges ,  police file fake cases against me or my dependents  to silence me , this complaint is & will be effective.
If I or my family members or my dependents are denied our fundamental rights , human rights , denied proper medical care for ourselves , If anything untoward happens to me or to my dependents   or to my family members    - In such case Chief Justice of  India together with the jurisdictional  revenue & police officials will be responsible for it , in such case the government of india  is liable to pay Rs. one crore as compensation to survivors of my family. if my whole family is eliminated by the criminal nexus ,then that compensation money must be donated to Indian Army Welfare Fund. Afterwards , the money must be recovered by GOI as land arrears from the salary , pension , property , etc of guilty police officials , Judges , public servants & Constitutional fuctionaries.  


date   : 
02.07.2012…………………………..Your's sincerely,

place : India………………………………….Nagaraja.M.R.




edited , printed , published & owned by NAGARAJA.M.R. @ : LIG-2 / 761 , HUDCO FIRST STAGE , OPP WATER WORKS OFFICE , LAKSHMIKANTANAGAR ,HEBBAL ,MYSORE -570017 INDIA            cell : 91 9341820313       
e-mail : nagarajhrw@hotmail.com         ,  naghrw@yahoo.com      


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