Bhopal: A district court on Tuesday directed authorities concerned to send summons to the US-based Dow Chemicals, making it an accused in the Bhopal gas tragedy case.
The move comes almost eight months after Madhya Pradesh High Court lifted its stay on the previous order on the same.
Dow Chemicals is the owner of Union Carbide Corporation.
The directive to issue summons came from Chief Judicial Magistrate Sanjay Pande in the light of a high court judgement last year.
Last year`s ruling had come on petitions filed by CBI and NGOs fighting on behalf of the victims of one of the world`s biggest industrial disasters.
The summons should be sent along with the copy of that judgement, the court said.
The court also directed CBI to inform it about the action taken by the agency in this regard and fixed August 21 as the date of next hearing in the case.
The district court had ordered issuance of summons against Dow Chemicals on January 6, 2005, but the order was stayed by the high court before it lifted the same in October 2012.
UCIL was 51 per cent owned by Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), which has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dow Chemicals since 2001. The rest of the stock in UCIL had then been held by Indian investors.
The Bhopal disaster was a gas leak incident which occurred on the intervening night of December 2?3, 1984, at the pesticide plant of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL), killing thousands and maiming scores of people.
"The decision is a significant step towards establishing the criminal liability of Union Carbide," NGOs said reacting to the order.