Details of use of State government plane to ferry Union Carbide Chairman Warren Anderson out of Bhopal in 1984 are not available with the Madhya Pradesh government, State’s aviation directorate has said.
Responding to an RTI application seeking to know who had sanctioned the flight which took Anderson to Delhi soon after the Bhopal gas tragedy in December 1984, the aviation directorate, after nine months of the application having been filed, said information is not available as the matter is 26-year-old.
The information under the Right to Information Act should be provided within one month of receiving the application but the Aviation Directorate which got the application on June 26, 2010, did not respond to it till March 26, 2011. The reply comes only after a complaint against it was filed with the State Information Commission.
The applicant had sought to know from the Aviation department the file noting regarding the sanction of the flight, name of person who sanctioned it, details about the names and number of passengers in it.
However, the Aviation Directorate did not reply to any of these queries and said since the matter is over 26-years-old, it does not have any information about it.
Mr. Anderson had reached Bhopal from the US three days after the gas tragedy struck the city on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, killing over 15,000 people.
On his arrival, he was arrested by local police and later granted bail by a local court.
But he left the country on December 7 and remained evasive since then. He was allegedly allowed to use an aircraft of Madhya Pradesh government to come to Delhi from Bhopal from where he returned to the US.
The CBI has been pursuing the matter of extradition of Mr. Warren Anderson since 1993.
However, the US did not agree for extradition of Mr. Anderson stating that the request of India does not meet the requirements of dual criminality under Article 2(1) and 9(3) of the extradition treaty between the two countries.
The CBI has moved a Delhi court earlier this month for obtaining a Letter Rogatory to the US authorities for Mr. Anderson’s extradition, stating it would be a travesty of justice if he is not put to trial for his alleged role in the tragedy.