India to examine Dow's liability in Bhopal tragedy

Scrambling desperately to undo immense political damage incurred from revelations arising out of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy the ruling UPA regime in Delhi, with the Congress party at its centre, has now decided to re-examine Dow Chemical's liability in the tragedy. Dow Chemical bought over Union Carbide in 1999.

The tragedy occurred at a Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) plant at Bhopal.

The recommendation to re-examine Dow's liability, arising out of its takeover of Union Carbide, has been made by a ministerial panel, the group of ministers (GoM), constituted to look into all aspects of the tragedy and make its recommendations. The panel submitted its recommendations to prime minister Manmohan Singh this Monday.

In its report the ministerial panel has apparently suggested that the government initiate a curative petition to broaden the ambit of liability as well as to frame more stringent criminal charges against the seven Indian executives of the erstwhile Union Carbide India.

The seven accused are currently out on bail after being sentenced to minor terms in jail.

The present stance will be a complete reversal of the legal response that the Government of India has presented with respect to the tragedy over the decades. The accident is considered to be the worst industrial accident in history.