New Delhi: The CBI, which on Monday came under attack
from civil rights groups and certain political parties over
its probe into the Bhopal gas tragedy, said it had made
"painstaking efforts" in its investigation.
"The investigation included painstaking efforts by CBI
to get evidence from abroad (USA) as well as extradition of
Warren Anderson (the then Chairman of Union Carbide
Corporation of USA)," CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said in a
"The prosecution case was that apart from proximate
reasons, there were a number of design defects and other
criminally negligent operational practices which resulted in
the leakage of Methyl Ico-Cyanate (MIC) and these were in the
knowledge of the management and were deliberately ignored for
commercial reasons," he said.
Nearly 26 years after the world`s worst industrial
disaster left more than 15,000 dead in the Bhopal gas tragedy,
former Union Carbide India Chairman Keshub Mahindra and six
others were today convicted and sentenced to two years
imprisonment each by a court.
Civil rights activists fighting for the families of
victims of the disaster called the judgement "too little, too
late" and accused the prosecution and CBI of failing the
victims by diluting the charges.
Bhal said the CBI had filed a chargesheet in the case
on December 1, 1987 and "the court had taken cognizance on
July 6, 1988 and Warren Anderson was declared as an absconder.
"In the meantime, vide order dated February 14, 1989, the
Supreme Court quashed all proceedings relating to and arising
out of Bhopal Gas disaster," he said.
"However, on a petition filed by CBI, the aforesaid order
was reviewed by SC. The case was committed for trial to the
Court of Sessions Judge Bhopal on April 3, 1992," he said
noting that the Sessions Court later framed charges against
all the nine accused except the absconders Warren Anderson,
UCC, USA and UCC, Hong Kong.
"Non-bailable arrest warrants were issued by CJM Bhopal
and CBI moved an extradition request to the United States on
September 8, 1993 for arrest and extradition of Anderson.
However, this request remains unexecuted."