Dow Chemicals opposes higher compensation

Dow Chemicals opposes compensation from Rs 750 crore to Rs 7,700 crore for the victims of 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

New Delhi: Dow Chemicals, which owns Union
Carbide since 2001, has opposed in the Supreme Court the
petition filed by the Centre for enhancement of compensation
from Rs 750 crore to Rs 7,700 crore for the victims of 1984
Bhopal gas tragedy, the world’s worst industrial disaster.

In an affidavit, Dow Chemicals has said it will not pay
more compensation for Bhopal victims as the settlement reached
in 1989 for USD 470 million was more than adequate and fair.

The company further said the Union Carbide Corporation
had no involvement in the Bhopal plant operations as the plant
was managed by Indians in India.

Dow Chemicals also pointed out that the amount paid as
compensation was three times more than envisaged under Indian
laws, which was not challenged for two decades.

The affidavit was filed in response to the notice issued
by the apex court on February 28 this year when it decided to
revisit its 21-year-old judgment that allowed Union Carbide
Corporation (UCC) to escape by paying a mere Rs 750-crore
compensation to hundreds of victims.

The curative petitions filed by the Centre had questioned
the compensation.

The government has sought a compensation of Rs 7,700
crore, saying the damages decided in 1989 were on the basis of
the assessment at that time that there were 3,000 deaths,
20,000 people with serious injuries and 50,000 with minor
ones. It said the death figure now stood at 5,295, with 35,000
people suffering from serious injuries and 5.27 lakh from
minor ones.