The United States has expressed hope that the Bhopal tragedy case has finally been closed, with a city court delivering the verdict on Monday. It has also ruled out possible future action against Union Carbide Corporation, a subsidiary of the Michigan-based multinational Dow Chemicals.
Responding to a query from Hindustan Times, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert O. Blake said, “We hope that this verdict helps to bring some closure to the victims and their families. But I don’t expect this verdict to reopen any new inquiries or anything like that.”
Blake was answering a question over whether the Obama administration would press for reparations for the survivors of the tragedy in the manner in which it has brought the hammer down on BP, the oil company responsible for the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Earlier, Blake refused to say whether the US would consider any new request by India to extradite the then Chairman and CEO of UCC Warren Anderson, and said that the US did not discuss extradition as a matter of policy.
Anderson, 89, who is absconding from Indian courts, splits his time between upscale winter and summer homes in Florida and the New York State.
The Bhopal verdict is also being examined in the context of the proposed liability legislation with regard to the India-US civil nuclear deal that is before the Indian Parliament.
Brian Mooney, a professor at New York University, said that when it comes to US companies looking to export nuclear technology to India, they can now do so with the knowledge that “if there ever is an accident, the outcome of the Bhopal criminal trial will indicate to them that they are not likely to stand trial for any sort of criminal wrongdoing.”