Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Courts Asks MHA Why No Summons Served To Dow Chemical

The first class magistrate of Bhopal District Court (Heeralal Alawa) issued summons to Under Secretary, Legal Cell-IS II Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India to present itself on 20 February 2020 and explain why it has not been able the serve the summons to The Dow Chemical Company under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty since 2014. This summons to MHA has also been issued on the application of Bhopal Group for Information & Action (BGIA)

Members of BGIA had hosted a protest on occasion of 35th anniversary of Bhopal Gas Tragedy (File Photo/Manish Chandra Mishra)

Despite 6 summons issued by the Bhopal District Court since 2014, CBI has not been able to produced the authorised representative of Dow Chemical Company in the Bhopal District court. The Ministry of Home Affairs which is the responsible agency to serve the summons to a accused living in another country under the MLAT has not taken a single step towards invoking provisions in MLAT to ensure that summons against Dow Chemical, USA are indeed served by the Department of Justice, USA.

The first class magistrate of Bhopal District Court (Heeralal Alawa) issued summons to Under Secretary, Legal Cell-IS II Division, Ministry of Home Affairs (source- BGIA)

The Bhopal Group for Information & Action (BGIA), an NGO working for survivors of the gas leak tragedy, had filed an application in this regard. The representatives of BGIA expressed satisfaction that finally the Judge has summoned the representative of Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the inordinate delay in being able to bring a representative of The Dow Chemical Company, USA. The criminal proceedings against Dow Chemical to make Union Carbide Corporation, USA, its wholly owned subsidiary, appear in the ongoing criminal case on the disaster of 1984 which has killed over 25000 people.