Legal developments did not affect charges faced by 'absconder'
The developments related to the criminal case on Bhopal gas tragedy over the years never had any effect on the charges faced by Warren Anderson, who was the ‘respondent number 1’ in the case.bhopal Updated: Nov 01, 2014 14:32 IST
The developments related to the criminal case on Bhopal gas tragedy over the years never had any effect on the charges faced by Warren Anderson, who was the ‘respondent number 1’ in the case.
Till he died, Anderson faced charges under section 304 of IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), even as the Supreme Court (SC) had reduced the charges against the nine Indian accused in the case. These nine accused were tried in Bhopal chief judicial magistrate under section 304 (a) of IPC pertaining to death caused by negligence.
Charges against Anderson and the two companies — Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), US and UCC, Hong Kong — stood because they never appeared for the trial or made any appeal like the Indian accused in the case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed charges against the three abovementioned foreign entities and nine Indian accused in 1987 in the Bhopal CJM court under section 304 of IPC. The Indian accused (officials of Union Carbide India Limited that owned the plant in Bhopal) however went in appeal against the charges framed by CBI and in 1992, the Supreme Court ordered that they should be tried under section 304 (A).
Finally on June 7, 2010, the Bhopal CJM Court found eight of the Indian accused (one accused died during course of trial) under the charges framed and were sentenced to two years jail term and Rs 1 lakh cash fine each.
Following public outcry after this judgment, the Union government filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court against the 1992 decision of the court to reduce the charges. The petition was however dismissed by the apex court.
Meanwhile, the CBI appealed against the CJM court order in the Bhopal district and sessions court, seeking enhancement of sentence for the eight Indian accused. This case is still in trial.
All these developments had little bearing on the charges against Anderson, who was declared absconder by the Bhopal CJM court in 1992, as he failed to appear in the court even after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him.