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Excerpts from Sushma Swaraj's Speech on Bhopal Disaster in Lok Sabha

Written By Gopal Krishna on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 | 10:28 AM

DISCUSSION RE: BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY
11.08.2010


Mr. Home Minister I would like to draw your attention to what the CGM says according to the charge sheet and I would quote:

“The procedure for storage of MIC has been given at page 7. MIC should be stored in underground tanks of stainless steel type 304 and 316 for safety reasons. The size of the tank should be kept twice to the volume required for storage. As an alternative an empty tank should be kept available at all the times.

Now, the CSIR Report reveals that the main causa causan for the incident were:
• The needless storage of large quantity of MIC in large tanks like tank number 610.
• Insufficient caution in design.
• Choice of material.
• Other alarming instruments.
• Inadequate control on system of storage
• and on quality of stored material and as well as necessary facilities for quick effective disposal of material which led to the incident.”

There is one more thing, Mr. Home Minister:

“More so on the date of incident, refrigeration system was not working. The flare tower was also out of order. VGS was incapable of neutralizing the large quantity of MIC. The MIC which is highly dangerous and toxic poison and stored in large quantity was an act of omission on the part of the accused person and no step was taken by the then authorities, namely, Shri Warren Anderson, the Chairman, Union Carbide Corporation, USA.”

“The Central Government shall and shall have the exclusive right to represent and act in place of whether within or outside India every person who has made or is entitled to make a claim for all purposes connected with such claim in the same manner and to the same effect as such person.”

“This settlement shall finally dispose of all past, present and future claims, causes of action, civil and criminal proceedings of any nature whatsoever wherever pending by all Indian citizens and of public and private entities with respect to the past present and future dates, personal injuries, health effects, compensation, losses, damages and civil and criminal complaints of any nature whatsoever against the Union Carbide Corporation….”

“Union Carbide India Limited, Union Carbide Eastern and all of their subsidiaries and affiliates as well as each of their present and former Directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, attorneys, advocates and solicitors arising out of, relating to or connected with the claims, causes of action and proceedings against each other. All such claims and causes of action whether within or outside India, all Indian citizens public or private entities are hereby extinguished including, without limitation, each of the claims filed or to be filed under the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster registration and processing of claims 1985 and all such civil proceedings in India are hereby transferred to this court and are dismissed without prejudice and all such criminal proceedings including contempt proceedings stands quashed and accused deemed to be acquitted upon full payment and in accordance with the court’s direction. The undertaking given by UCC pursuant to the order dated 30th November, 1986 in the district court of Bhopal stands discharged and all orders passed in suit no. 113 of 1986 and or any revision therefrom also stands discharged.”

“As our front page story notes, the Group of Minister’s conclusion that “contemporary media reports also indicate that the Prime Minister was briefed on the matter after Mr. Anderson left the country” is factually incorrect.
Assuming that G.K. Reddy’s reports in The Hindu (especially the front page story of December 8, 1984) are part of the contemporary media reports:” referred to by the GoM, its conclusion is either a careless misreading of the reports, or, more likely, a clumsy attempt at a cover-up.”

“The American Charge d’Affairs, Mr. Gordon Creeb called on the Foreign Secretary Mr. M.K. Rasgotra, to voice the US Government’s concern over Mr. Anderson’s arrest despite the assurances of safe passage given by the Government of India.”

“The contention that the Court had no jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceedings in exercise of power under Article 142 (1) is rejected. But, in the particular facts and circumstances, it is held that the quashing of the criminal proceedings was not justified. The criminal proceedings are, accordingly directed to be proceeded with.”
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