Union Minister for Law and Justice M. Veerappa Moily on Saturday said, the Centre would examine the legal provisions to bring to trial the former Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson in the Bhopal gas leak case.
The CBI had filed a charge sheet against Mr. Anderson and other accused under Part 2 of Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code, where the maximum punishment is 10 years. But the case was converted to Section 304 (A) of the IPC by the Supreme Court.
However, still there was a separate case against Mr. Anderson and “we will examine the legal methods” for bringing him to trial, Mr. Moily told journalists after launching development schemes at Gudibande in Chickballapur constituency represented by him in Parliament.
Asked whether the Centre would again take up the issue of Mr. Anderson's extradition with the U.S., he said it was up to the Ministry of External Affairs to look into the matter.
Mr. Moily said the allegations levelled against the then Rajiv Gandhi government that it had arranged safe passage for Mr. Anderson were mere “speculations and politically motivated.”
“Some retired officials who could not do anything while in office were now behaving like saints and issuing irresponsible statements,” he said.
Law of torts
Bangalore Special Correspondent reports:
Mr. Moily said India needed to codify the Law of torts to allow law enforcement agencies to punish those who were responsible for disasters such as the Bhopal gas leak and give suitable relief to the families of the victims.
Talking to journalists after inaugurating the two-day Karnataka State-level Continuing Professional Education Conference, Jnana Manthana, organised by the Southern India Regional Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, here, he said that without codification of the Law of Torts, the government was finding it difficult to decide on situations of this kind. “We have to codify it,” he said.
India was among the countries that have not codified this aspect of the law. If it was codified, it would become easy for people affected by natural calamities and manmade disasters to seek justice and claim compensation, he said.