Bhopal: Plea blaming ex-collector, SP pending in court for 4 years

  • Sravani Sarkar, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Nov 02, 2014 16:11 IST

An application moved by city activists to register criminal case against the erstwhile district collector and superintendent of police involved in exit of Warren Anderson from Bhopal on December 7, 1984, remains pending in the court for last four years.

The court of the chief judicial magistrate of Bhopal is yet to take cognisance of the application in context of registration of criminal cases, though the statements of the complainants has been filed.

Anderson, former chairman of the Union Carbide Corporation that ran the pesticide factory involved in killing hundreds in Bhopal, had been arrested after his arrival in Bhopal four days after the tragedy.

But within a few hours, his bail was posted and he sent out of Bhopal in a state plane after being escorted to airport by former collector Moti Singh and superintendent of police Swaraj Puri.

Anderson who had been declared an absconder by Bhopal CJM court and carried a non-bailable warrant died in USA on September 29. The news became public on October 31.

The activists Abdul Jabbar and Shahnawaz Khan had moved the application in the court of Bhopal CJM on June 15, 2010, pleading that criminal case under sections 221 and 34 of IPC should be registered against Singh and Puri as they had 'helped a criminal to escape'.

They also said in the application that Anderson had been arrested under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) — which is a non-bailable offence. Also his address in the bail was of America and it was clear he could leave the country if allowed.

Despite this knowledge, the collector and the SP allowed the bail and escorted him to the state plan to help him escape, which is a major criminal offence, the application says.

The complaints have presented in the court a video clipping (used by a national television channel) showing the two erstwhile officials escorting Anderson to Bhopal airport.

Also a book by Moti Singh (Bhopal ka Sach), which details the arrival and exit of Anderson and the role of Singh and Puri, has been presented in the court as evidence.

In the book, Singh has clearly said that bail was arranged for Anderson and he was escorted to the state plane secretly to avoid media glare. (Copies of application and Singh's book available with HT).

"We are of the view that the officials should be punished for their role in Anderson's escape. There is enough evidence of their involvement. We are awaiting court's action in the matter," Jabbar said while talking to HT.

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