"Only the Indian accused have been convicted, not the
main accused who happen to be Americans. The verdict has taken
a very long time to come. The charges have been diluted. The
accused have been let off with a two-year sentence each and
freed on bail," CPI National Secretary D Raja said.
"It is too little and too late," Raja said after a Bhopal
court convicted eight accused including former Union Carbide
Chairman Keshub Mahindra for the gas tragedy, the world's
worst industrial disaster that had left over 15,000 people
dead 26 years ago.
The CPI leader said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should
take responsibility for the "failure and incompetence" of CBI,
which could not bring the prime accused to justice.
"It is a corporate crime and the accused should have got
exemplary punishment, but what has happened is like a relief
for the accused in a way," he said adding, it has been treated
like a "road accident" case.
Raja said the CBI should take up the issue of
"extradition of the foreign accused". The Prime Minister
should assure that perpetrators of such corporate crimes will
be brought to justice, he said.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Mohan P Tiwari convicted
85-year-old Mahindra, and seven others in the case relating to
leakage of deadly methyl isocyanate gas in the intervening
night of Dec 2 and 3, 1984.
They were held guilty under Sections 304-A (causing
death by negligence), 304-II (culpable homicide not amounting
to murder) and 336, 337 and 338 (gross negligence) of the
Indian Penal Code.
However, there was no word on Warren Anderson, the then
Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation of the US, who was
declared an absconder after he did not subject himself to
trial in the case that began 23 years ago.
New Delhi: Terming the Bhopal gas tragedy
verdict as "too little, too late", the CPI today said the
Prime Minister should take responsibility for the "failure" of
the CBI to bring to justice the foreigners accused in the
First Published: Monday, June 07, 2010, 17:30