Anderson’s death without appearance in Indian court shows US did not honor US India Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance
Anderson’s death remained secret for a month, like Union Carbide Corporation’s trade secret
Partially declassified CIA documents of December 8, 1984 reveal, Rajiv Gandhi ordered his release
October 31, 2014: Warren Anderson’s death without appearing in the Bhopal court demonstrates that US Government failed to comply promptly with their obligations under the US India Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) and to support efforts to ensure that Dow and UCC comply with the summons issued by the CJM.
About 30 years before his death on September 29, 2014 at a nursing home in Vero Beach, Florida, USA, Warren Anderson was arrested at 2 PM on December 7, 1984 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, grievous assault and killing and poisoning human beings and animals.
The very first accused that the judgment on the Bhopal Gas Disaster in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, dated June 7, 2010 mentions is: “Sri Warren Anderson S/O Sri John Martin Anderson Former Chairman, Carbide Corporation, 39, Old Ridgebury Road, Danbury USA 06817 (Absconder)”.
The concluding paragraph no. 226 of CJM’s verdict reads: “Mr. Warren Anderson, UCC USA and UCC Kowlnn Hongkong are still absconding and therefore, every part of this case (Criminal File) is kept intact alognwith the exhibited and unexhibited documents and the property related to this case, in safe custody, till their appearance.” Government of USA ensured that he never appeared in the Bhopal court in India.
Anderson was the supreme authority for Bhopal based plant of UCC’s subsidiary. It was under the supervision of the Executive Vice-President, Agricultural Products Division, UCC who was directly answerable to Warren Anderson. Anderson approved and ratified the double standards in design, safety and operations by which UCC imposed at its subsidiary in Bhopal in comparison to its Institute, West Virginia factory in USA.
The attached partially declassified CIA document of December 8, 1984 revealed that Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister led government ordered Anderson’s release the same day in an extra-constitutional manner and red carpet send off to him on a state government plane to New Delhi and from there to USA after meeting President of India and others.
Anderson was released on a Bail Bond in Hindi dated December 7, 1984 reads:
“I, Warren M Anderson s/o John Martin Anderson am resident of 63/54 Greenidge Hills Drive, Greenidge, Connecticut, USA. I am the Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation, America. I have been arrested by Hanumanganj Police Station, District Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India under Criminal Sections 304 A, 304, 120 B, 278, 429, 426 & 92. I am signing this bond for Rs. 25,000/- and thus undertaking to be present whenever and wherever I am directed to be present by the police or the Court.”
It was signed by Anderson. His signature was obtained after the language of this bond was translated into English and read out to him.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed charge sheet against Warren Anderson, chairman of UCC on December 1, 1987. Several summons served on Anderson through Interpol. Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Bhopal proclaimed Anderson an absconder on February 9, 1989 for repeatedly ignoring summons and directed him to be present in its court on March 31, 1989.
A proclamation was issued on December 7, 1991 by CJM, Bhopal ordering Anderson – accused No.1, UCC, USA to present himself before the court on February 1, 1992. On February 1, 1992, the CJM declared Anderson as a fugitive from law for his non-appearance in the criminal case and proclaimed him as an absconder.
CJM, Bhopal issued a non-bailable warrant of arrest against Anderson on April 10, 1992 and ordered the Government of India to seek extradition of Anderson from the USA.On February 27, 2003, the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances' presented a report to the Parliament sought an Action Taken Report from the government in the matter of Anderson's extradition without delay.
The Government of India examined the matter in1993 and it did not act promptly. India’s request for the extradition of Anderson has been pending. Government of India sent the first notice to Government of USA in this regard in May 2003. Government of USA told Government of India on July 2, 2004 that they would not consider extradition because the request "does not meet the requirements of their Extradition Treaty with India. In June 2010, the CBI along with the union ministry of law, ministry of external affairs and the Attorney General of India worked together for additional material in the case. A fresh notice attested by the court chief metropolitan magistrate Tis Hazari, New Delhi was sent to the Government of USA.
It is noteworthy that the request for Anders’s extradition was communicated to the Department of Justice, Government of USA. Besides the summons for Anderson from the Bhopal Court were also communicated to Department of Justice, USA.
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) holds that Government of USA has adopted double standards in the matter of liability for the Bhopal gas disaster due to leakage of 40 tonnes of lethal methyl isocyanate gas and other undisclosed gases from UCC’s plant into the surrounding environment, which has caused more than 23,000 deaths and lakhs of disabilities.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh High Court has held UCC’s parent company, Dow Chemicals Company responsible for the clean-up of the contaminated site in an ongoing case. Also Bhopal Court has asked Dow to appear before it on November 12, 2014 for its failure to ensure appearance of UCC. It is quite unlikely that had Anderson been alive, Department of Justice, Government of USA would have served the summons to him in pursuance with its obligations under MLA.
Anderson personified corporate crime but his death does not end the quest of justice against the corporate manslaughter, inter-generational assault and ongoing contamination in Bhopal. In the history of mankind his name and face will remain synonymous with corporate barbarism.
For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 08227816731, 09818089660, E-mail:gopalkrishna1715@gmail.