I believe each and everyone reading this post will be aware of the recent judgement by the Bhopal court.Anyway lets have a brief recap of what has happened in 1984 and what the judgement is all about.
Bhopal gas tragedy,world's worst industrial disaster,occurred in the year 1984, December 2nd midnight at the Union Carbide India Limited(UCIL) pesticide plant,in Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh).The leakage of a poisonous gas,Methyl IsoCyanate(MIC),in the UCIL plant has lead to the death of 1000s of people.Approximately,some 15000 people were killed in this leakage.Even today people are born with physical disabilities due to the incident.
If we analyse the reason for this leakage,we can get a simple answer.Its the negligence of the people working there.After this incident,the CEO of UCIL,Warren Anderson,came to India.He was arrested and released on bail by the Madhya Pradesh police on Dec7th,1984.He was sent to Delhi safely in a state govt owned flight.From there,he left India.Then it has been concluded that he has absconded.
Well,there is evidence that he knew the plant's design was faulty and did not conform to the American standards of safety.Still he never took any corrective measures.If reports are to be believed,it was Mr.Arjun Singh,the then CM of Madhya Pradesh,has got a phone call from the central govt and after that phone call, Anderson was allowed to go to Delhi,in the govt., flight.Reports say that the call was from the Ministry of External Affairs,which was under the control of the then Home Minister,Mr.Narasimha Rao(the External Affairs minister was ill at that time,so it was under Mr.Rao's control). Former CBI officer,B R Lall has given an open statement that he was pressurized by the central govt(Congress govt,Mr.Rajiv Gandhi was the PM) in this case. Congress leader DigVijay Singh has stated that Anderson was let off due to pressure from US and P C Alexander,former secretary of Mr.Rajiv Gandhi also told that Anderson might have been let off due to pressure from US.
So,from the above facts it seems that the Rajiv Gandhi's govt and Arjun Singh's govt has worked hard to save Anderson,an American.But they never thought about the condition of the innocent people,which includes kids,ladies,old people etc,who died in this disaster.The case went on for 26 years.Now the judgement has come. As we all know 8 Indians,who were working in UCIL,have got away with a minimal punishment. They have to pay a compensation of 25000 rupees and have to undergo a 2 years imprisonment.The judgement didn't even mention the name of Warren Anderson,the then CEO of the Union Carbide.
Moreover,if am not wrong,these people can again appeal in higher courts against this judgement.Now due to the pressure from media and the public the congress govt is giving statements as if its going to take some strict action.The brainy guy, Mr.Veerappa Moily,the honorable law minister of India,says that they will try to extradite Anderson to India.Now Anderson is 91 yrs old.I don't know what the govt is going to find out by bringing him back to India.When there was clear-cut evidence itself,they didn't(or couldn't) act.So the statements about extradition are nothing more than political stunt.
Just delayed is the justice denied.
The problem with the central govt is that they are not willing to learn from their past mistakes.Well,to be apt,this govt doesn't even seem to bother about the 1000s of victims who died and who r suffering several genetic diseases.Whats there to worry,afterall,the victims were Indians.Now it seems that the govt is planning for another disaster.
Our PM,Manmohan Singh,considers signing the N-Deal with the US as the greatest achievement in his tenure.Now that the US wants India to sign the nuclear civil liability bill.First of all,there are 'n' no. of ways to produce electricity.There is no necessity to go for Nuclear Power plants controlled by private authorities.If I start typing about the hazards of N-Deal,then this post will never end.But still it has to be mentioned here.So just go through the link given below.Mr.P K Iyengar,an atomic scientist clearly explains the disadvantages of N-Deal.
In a 1996 case, the Supreme Court held: “Once the activity carried on is … potentially hazardous, the person [responsible] is liable to make good the loss … irrespective [of] whether he took reasonable care …”. Absolute liability extends to restoring environmental degradation.
The nuclear liability bill violates these principles. It has fixed that the compensation amount incase of any disaster,is approximately 300$ or about Rs.2300 crores.The operator's liability,that is the company,has to pay just 500 Crores and the rest of the amount will be paid by the govt.That is the govt will invite trouble from a foreign country and it will compensate for that trouble using our tax money.Warreh wah!! what an idea sir ji!!!
It seems that the govt is too careful in avoiding troubles in future.I mean troubles from media.Because,if this bill is signed,not only the media,none else can question the govt like what is being done now.So everything will be legalized.
Till today the govt owned nuclear power plants are working fine.If the administration is good enough,then there won't be any power scarcity at all and our own govt can set up more no. of power stations gradually.If Mr.Singh thinks that this is going to be his greatest achievement,am sorry PM ji,if anything goes wrong,u will remain in the memories of many generations,but in a bad light.
The govt has failed to compensate the Bhopal victims monetarily.Atleast if it learns from the past and drops the idea of signing this N-Liability bill,that itself would be a great relief for those who died.Lets pray god that such tragedies doesn't happen again.
Note : Most of the facts mentioned in this article are taken from daily magazines like Indian Express,Dinamani etc. and I have added some points regd the N-Liability bill from the article of Mr.Praful Badwai.