Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's Principal Secretary P C Alexander has denied that former Union Carbide Chairman Warren Anderson, the prime accused in the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy was given consent to leave the country after the catastrophe.
Soon after the judgment, which came after a court case lasting nearly 25 years, the circumstances in which Anderson fled India have become a raging controversy.
"The question was put to me repeatedly, do you know that Mr Rajiv Gandhi gave his consent. I said I do no know. Did he consult with you? I said he at that time did not consult anything or I did not talk to him on Warren Anderson at all," said Alexander.
"The case of Warren Anderson going or being send back to America why, under what conditions, none of these things was known to me at that time," he added.
A District Magistrate's Court in Bhopal had on June 7 convicted all eight accused on grounds of negligence under Section 304 (a) for the tragedy.
The court also granted bail to seven of the eight accused and released them on submission of a bond and a surety of Rs 25,000 each.
The eight accused are Keshub Mahendra, Vijay Gokhle, Kishore Kamdar, J Mukund, S P Choudhary, K V Shetty and S I Qureshi and R B Roy Choudhary.
Out of the accused R B Roy Choudhary, then former Assistant Works Manager Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL), Mumbai, died during the trial.
Anderson, the chairman of Union Carbide Worldwide, has been designated an absconder.