Judge Keenan finds for Bhopalis

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The only picture we can find of Judge Keenan
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal ki Aawaaz

January 12, 2006
Press Statement
Organizations of survivors today celebrated a favourable decision from Judge John F Keenan of the District Court in New York for the first time in the history of the case regarding the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal. On January 10, 2006, Judge Keenan issued a letter rogatory for obtaining documents from Eveready Industries India Limited [EIIL] that could potentially establish the nexus between this Indian company and Union Carbide, USA and Dow Chemical USA. The organizations congratulated their attorney Mr. Himanshu Rajan Sharma who has been fighting for the survivors in the US courts since 1999 when the legal action was initiated.
In his decision Judge Keenan has agreed to seek judicial assistance from the Indian government to compel EIIL to produce documents related to its corporate structure and affiliations and liabilities concerning environmental contamination caused by the Bhopal factory. The Judge has requested that plaintiff’s attorney Mr. Sharma be notified regarding examination of documents before the appropriate courts in India. The letter rogatory issued by Judge Keenan will be transmitted to U.S. State Department and then to India for “discovery proceedings” against EIIL.
While there is no Indian legislation that can compel private companies to disclose their internal documents, American law provides for ‘discovery proceedings’ wherein a corporation is legally bound to reveal these documents to the plaintiffs. Survivors’ organizations expect this decision to have significant consequences as regards payment of compensation for contamination of soil and ground water and consequent health damages among people living next to Union Carbide’s abandoned pesticide factory.
Two appeals on behalf of people affected by soil and ground water contamination from Bhopal are currently pending before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which has decided in favor of the Bhopal victims on two earlier occasions. If successful, the legal action in the US Federal Court will force Union Carbide to pay further compensation far greater than the settlement amount of 470 million dollars it paid in 1989.
Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
93031 32959
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
93290 26319
Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
98261 82226
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
98261 67369
[] Contact :
House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag Umrao Dulha, Bhopal 462 010
For latest information on Bhopal disaster please visit www.bhopal.net

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