Provide info on Anderson`s exit: CIC to MEA
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Last Updated: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 17:03
  
New Delhi: The Central Information Commission has directed the External Affairs Ministry to "provide information" on the alleged safe passage promised to Bhopal gas tragedy accused Warren Anderson during his visit to the country in the aftermath of the world's worst industrial disaster.

The transparency panel, acting on a complaint against the ministry, passed the order giving it time till November 30 to comply with the directive.

"The Commission...directs the Public Information Officer, Ministry of External Affairs to provide the information sought by the complainant by November 30, 2010.

"The complainant may also be allowed inspection of relevant filed and be provided with the attested copies of documents, including file notings, if required, keeping in view provisions of...the RTI Act, free of cost," Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit held in her order.

Applicant Abhishek Shukla had sought to know from the External Affairs Ministry if it promised any safe passage to Anderson during his visit to India, three days after the tragedy which killed over 15,000 people.

"Was any assurance given to United States Government for not initiating any legal action against Anderson during his visit to India during December 2-10, 1984," he sought to know from the Ministry among other questions which may give indications on the circumstances in which the then Union Carbide chief managed to leave the country.

The Ministry did not send any reply to the RTI application dated May 18 despite statutory requirement of providing answers within 30 days of receiving applications under the transparency law following which a complaint was filed with the Commission.

Anderson had reached Bhopal from the US nearly three days after the gas tragedy 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 remained evasive since then.

He was allegedly allowed to use an aircraft of Madhya Pradesh government to come to Delhi from Bhopal from where he returned to the US.

The CBI has been consistently pursuing the matter of extradition of Warren Anderson since 1993.

However, the US Department of State 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.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 17:03


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