New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday allowed the
CBI to seek extradition of Union Carbide Corporation chairman
Warren Anderson, an accused in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy
case, from the United States.
"Considering the entire facts in its holistic perspective
and sentiments of the disaster-hit people, I deem
it appropriate and in the interest of justice that he be
extradited," Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav said.
"There is no bar in law in seeking extradition of Warren
Anderson from the US authorities. Request of the CBI is
allowed," he said.
Anderson, 90, never faced trial in connection with the
world`s worst industrial disaster over 26 years ago and was
declared a proclaimed offender by the court of Bhopal chief
judicial magistrate in 1992 after he jumped bail, which he had
secured on December 7, 1984 following his arrest.
Yadav, in his order, noted, "The chronology of steps
taken by the CBI from 1992 till July 2010 in the case reveals
that the CBI was not sleeping over the matter and was
conscious about its duties to bring Warren Anderson to book."
Though the court allowed the plea of the CBI, it wanted
to know from the investigating agency as to why it had not
taken recourse under the Extradition Act after an extradition
treaty between the United States and India came into existence
on September 14, 1999.
"We cannot open the case as per the whims and fancies of
the CBI," the CMM said during the course of the proceedings.
While pressing for the extradition of Anderson, the CBI
said that there was enough material implicating the then UCC
Chairman in the case.
"The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bhopal had passed a
detailed order in June 2010 which is conclusive material
implicating Anderson in the matter," the agency said.
It also argued that there was no delay on its part in
approaching the US authorities for Anderson`s extradition.
The CBI emphasised that the management of the UCC was
well aware about the defects in the plant at Bhopal but did
not take any remedial action.
"As the management was well aware of the defects in the
plant, the culpability of Anderson, being its chairman, cannot
be denied," the CBI prosecutor said.