Bhopal: Court allows CBI to extradite Anderson



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.

PTI