26 years after Bhopal, CBI seeks Anderson's extradition

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday today moved a Delhi court to obtain a letter rogatory to the US authorities for the extradition of former Union Carbide Corporation chairman Warren Anderson in order to stand trial for criminal culpability in the 1984 Bhopal gas leakage tragedy, which had left over 15,000 people dead and maimed many more. 

In a 33-page application submitted to the court of chief metropolitan magistrate Vinod Yadav, the CBI said Anderson (now 90 years old) should be extradited from the US to face the trial which is pending against him in the court of the Bhopal chief judicial magistrate. 

"Warren M Anderson is liable to be prosecuted on extradition to India for offence under section 304, Indian Penal Code (culpable homicide not amounting to murder)," said the CBI, invoking to the extradition treaty between the US and India. 

"As per the provision contained in the extradition treaty dated 14 September 1999 between the USA and India, reciprocity has been granted for the extraditable offence punishable for a period of more than one year or by a more severe penalty. 

"The offence involved in under sections 304 and 326, IPC, which entail more than one year imprisonment are covered under the provision of dual criminality as these offences are punishable in India as well as in the USA," the CBI said in its plea. 

The magistrate decided to hear the CBI plea for Anderson's extradition today. 

Anderson never faced trial for his role in triggering 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 1993. 

Arrested on 7 December 1984 within days after the tragedy, Anderson was granted bail by a Bhopal court. But he flew back to the US and never returned to India to stand trial in the case.