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
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.