New Delhi: The External Affairs Ministry is
consulting the Law Ministry on making public details of
the alleged safe passage to Bhopal Gas tragedy accused Warren
Anderson after the worst industrial disaster in 1984 which
killed over 15,000 people.
The Central Information Commission has directed the
Ministry to provide details in this regard before November 30.
After orders from the Commission, the MEA said,
"Consular, Passport and Visa Division of this Ministry
has been examining the matter in consultation with Legal and
Treaties division of this Ministry and Ministry of Law and
"The proposal is pending with the Ministry of Law and
Justice. Requisite information will be communicated to you as
and when received," the Ministry said in its reply dated
The Ministry has not sent any information to the RTI
applicant, who had applied on June 18, despite statutory norms
to provide reply within 30 days of receiving the application.
The applicant then filed a complaint before the
transparency panel which subsequently issued a show cause
notice to the concerned officials of the Ministry to explain
the reasons for delay in furnishing the information.
Acting on the complaint, the CIC directed the Ministry
to provide information before November 30.
"The complainant may also be allowed inspection of
relevant files and be provided with the attested copies of
documents, including file notings...free of cost," Information
Commissioner Annapurna Dixit held.
The RTI applicant had sought to know from the Ministry
if it promised any safe passage to Anderson during his visit
to India, three days after the tragedy.
Anderson had reached Bhopal from the US nearly three
days after the disaster struck the city on the intervening
night of December 2-3, 1984. Upon his arrival, he was arrested
by local police and later granted bail by a local court.
But Anderson managed to leave the country on December 7
and has remained evasive since then. The CBI has been
consistently pursuing the matter of extradition of Warren
Anderson since 1993.
The US did not agree for extradition of Anderson in the
Bhopal gas leak case stating that the request of the
Government of India does not meet the requirements of dual
criminality under Article 2(1) and 9(3) of the Extradition
Treaty between the two countries.