Against the backdrop of the court verdict on Bhopal gas leak, CPI(M) has said the UPA government should not be allowed to succumb to US pressure on nuclear liability bill and it should demand extradition of former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson in the case.
In an editorial in party mouthpiece People's Democracy, the party said the government must either appeal against this verdict or initiate a fresh process in Supreme Court to ensure that proper justice is delivered to the victims.
It must also bring to book those whose complicity aided the delay in and denial of justice, while it must take steps to strengthen the laws that would ensure a fair and speedy delivery of justice in the future, the party said.
"This UPA-2 government, despite its proclivities, must not be allowed to succumb to US pressures to enact the CNLB (civil nuclear liability bill). The least that it can do now is to demand the extradition of Warren Anderson and subject him to a speedy trial, which the law minister has stated is possible," the editorial said.
The party claimed that the court verdict "clearly sends" the message to the US and other western powers that they can set up their industrial plants in India and reap super profits "without worrying about any serious liabilities in case of such serious accidents".
The US has already rejected the possibility of any future action against the Union Carbide which has now become a subsidiary of multinational Dow Chemicals, it said.
"Contrast such callousness with the US' response to the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico recently. The Obama administration has pledged to hold oil giant, BP, accountable for billions of dollars in damages and clean up operations as well as penalties in the aftermath of the offshore oil rig accident that killed eleven men and emptied millions of gallons of crude oil into the sea.
"As far as the Bhopal accident is concerned where over 20,000 lives were lost, the US wants the matter to be closed. Such are the criminal double standards of imperialism and the industrialised West," it said. It said if this be the case, the UPA must "seriously reconsider and withdraw" the nuclear liability bill that it had so hurriedly introduced in Parliament, "again under US pressure".