Press Statement, Bhopal, November 25.
In the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Vidhan Maheshwari, a group of 10 lawyers appeared today on behalf of Dow Chemical to deny that, by this appearance, Dow was accepting the jurisdiction of the court.
The criminal proceedings, from which Carbide has been a proclaimed absconder for 31 years, concern the culpable homicide of thousands arising from Dow subsidiary Union Carbide’s 1984 gas disaster in Bhopal.
“As assistants to the prosecution, the CBI, and in order to enforce the appearance of its subsidiary Union Carbide, which has been on the run since criminal charges were formally brought against in 1987, in 2004 we moved the court to summon Dow,” said Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal group for Information & Action “It has taken 18 years and seven summonses for Dow to appear, only to deny that it is in fact appearing, and then use its ‘partial appearance’ to try to deny the jurisdiction of Indian courts.”
Vidhan Maheshwari has scheduled a final hearing on the issue of jurisdiction on January 6th, 2024, in the fortieth anniversary year of the disaster.
The Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA) submitted an application today that The Dow Chemical Company has indeed been served notice and that contrary to the Accused’s stance, there is no concept of limited jurisdiction in Indian jurisprudence and that the Hon’ble Court has to authority to proceed against Dow under Section 305(3) and take coercive measures.
Dow’s lawyers shared an objection statement to assert that Carbide, a company, whose sales, marketing, legal departments and board of directors are controlled, top to toe, by the Michigan based Dow Chemical Company remains a separate company.”
Representatives of organistions working with the survivors of the Union Carbide disaster express their hope that the raised profile of Bhopal would bring a needed focus to the proceedings. “New Netflix series The Railway Men honours the spirit of Bhopal, but to tell the whole story would take forty series. Bhopal is not history, it is unfolding right now”, said Balkrishan Namdev of Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangarsh Morcha
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
|Nawab Khan, Nasreen Bee
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Pursh Sangarsh Morcha
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangarsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information & Action