Despite Union Carbide's former chairman Warren Anderson facing an arrest warrant from a Bhopal court for his alleged criminal negligence in triggering the world's worst industrial in the city 26 years ago, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) never issued a red corner notice (RCN) against the fugitive business tycoon, the agency admitted today.
Asked why the CBI never issued the notice or approached Interpol for his arrest, CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal contended that there was no need to issue this.
"RCN was not required in the case as the identity and and the location of the individual accused is already known and established," Bhal told IANS.
Bhal also discounted the need for a fresh letter rogatory from Bhopal's chief judicial magistrate's court requesting the US government to extradite Anderson to India to answer criminal charges in his court.
"We keep on sending reminders to the US government, but there is no need to send a fresh letter rogatory or the extradition request to the US," said Bhal.
"The CBI has already sent an extradition request to the US along with the arrest warrant for Anderson," said the CBI spokesperson adding: "It is still pending with the US authorities."
He did not say that the US has already rejected this.
"Non-bailable arrest warrant against Anderson was issued by the court of Bhopal's chief judicial magistrate and the CBI moved an extradition request to the US on September 8, 1993 for the arerst and extradition of Anderson," said Bhal.
"This request, however, remains unexecuted," Bhal added.
The CBI had accused Anderson of criminal negligence and culpability in the leakage of tonnes of deadly methyl-isocyanate from Union Carbide's plant in Bhopal on Dec 2-3, 1984, which killed thousands instantly and many more later.
The incident resulted in instant death of over 3,500 people, while over 25,000 people who were exposed to the deadly gas died in the days and months following the incident.
The only time that Anderson had a brush with the Indian law was on Dec 7, 1984, when he, along with some Indian officials of Union Carbide, was arrested in Bhopal after the registration of a police complaint at the Hanuman Ganj police station in Bhopal on Dec 3, 1984.
Anderson was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, grievous assault and killing and poisoning human beings and animals due to leakage of the deadly gas from the Union Carbide's pesticide plant in Bhopal, but was released on bail the same day.
The Bhopal court, on Jan 1, 1992, issued a proclamation for Anderson's appearance before it. The court's proclamation was published in the Washington Post.
But as Anderson failed to respond, the court, on April 10, 1992, issued non-bailable arrest warrants against him and directed the central government to seek his extradition from the US.
The central government, in May-June 2003, sent requests to the US justice department seeking extradition of Anderson, but the US, in July 2004, rejected India's request.
About the 2003 extardition request, Bhal said: "It must be one of our reminders to the US government."