Proceedings before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bhopal
on 4 and 5th May 2000, in Criminal Case No. RT- 8460/96

State versus Keshub Mahindra and other accused

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan, Bhopal, Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti, New Delhi and Bhopal
Group for Information and Action, Bhopal [Assisting the Prosecution]

Chief Judicial Magistrate : Mr. L. D. Borasi

Counsels for the prosecution : Mr. C. Sahay [Special Public Prosecutor on 5 May 2000 only]

Mr. U. S. Prasad, Mr. R.B. Sharma [Public Prosecutors]

Counsel for the accused : Mr. Dhakephalkar Prasad

Ms. Neera Tiwari

Mr. Ravindra Tiwari

________________________________________________________________________

4 May 2000

Proceedings : Deposition and cross-examination of one witness; Mr. A. D. Pawde, aged 70 years, retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, Central Bureau of Investigation, Bombay.

Deposition :

I was in Bombay CBI from 1966-Oct 1989 in different capacities.  I retired in October 1989.  In December 1984 I was in the Economic Offences Wing of CBI, Bombay as Deputy Superintendent of Police.   I know and remember the December 1984 Union Carbide disaster.  I conducted part investigation in this case in Bombay.  I conducted part investigation under directions from CBI Head Quarters, New Delhi.

On 11 December, 1984,  I visited UCIL's office on Matthew Road in Bombay. Inspectors P. B. More and P. V. Shinde, and two witnesses, N. B. Yadav, GPO employee and B. R. Surve were with me. I met with Shri K. Ramchandra in the UCIL office.  I requested that Mr K. Ramchandra  produce the documents that were required.  Mr. Ramchandra produced the documents.  I saw some other documents along with them.   I prepared a list of documents as a seizure memo and took signatures of the two witnesses (Exhibit 1332). There was some agitation by protestors at the office, these were dealt with by the police.

Six documents (Nos.1-6) were siezed by me.  Also, I took charge of documents listed as A and B in the seizure memo.  The witnesses also signed the siezed documents.  The documents were:

  1. Original letter dated 26 October 1984 from R. Natrajan, VP, UCE Inc., addressed to K. S. Kamdar, UCIL, pages 1 and 2.
  2. Xerox copy of contract dated 23 May 1974, between UCIL and Humphrey's & Glasgow Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Bombay, running from pages 1 to 52.
  3. Telex message from K. S. Kamdar to R. Natarajan with cc to V. P. Gokhale, Bombay, dated 13 November 1984.
  4. Profit and loss statement of AG Product Division, 1981-82 up to October 1984.
  5. Xerox copies of details of profit and loss accounts from 1983 to 1984.
  6. Annual report of UCIL, 1984.

Documents A and B were seized by me on my own accord  were not signed by Mr. Ramchandra.  They were:

  1. Correspondence in one bunch that included pages 1 to 15.
  2. Telex messages, pages 1 to 61.

The following five documents requested by us were not made available:

  1. Safety Audit notes.
  2. Original correspondence for installation of the plant.
  3. [Not recorded].
  4. Correspondence regarding design change.
  5. [Not recorded].

I sent the report of this part investigation to CBI HQ, New Delhi.

Cross-examination:

By Dhakephalkar Prasad (leading counsel for the accused).

Dhakephalkar Prasad: The seizure started at 10.45am and went on to 6.30pm?

A. D. Pawde: Yes.

DP: Did Mr. Ramchandra present several documents to you other than the ones you asked for?

AP: Yes.

DP: You examined the documents?

AP: Yes.

DP: And you seized documents that were relevant to you?

AP: Yes.

DP: Did you know K. S. Kamdar, R. Natarajan or K. Ramchandra before that day?

AP: No, I did not know them personally.

DP: You do not know the signatures of Kamdar or Natarajan?

AP: Yes, I do not know their signatures.

DP: Only Ramchandra signed in front of you?

AP: Yes.

DP: You said that seizure was directed by CBI HQ, New Delhi.  Did you go to Delhi to discuss this?

AP: No, I did not go to Delhi.

DP: Did you get written instructions from Delhi HQ?

AP: Yes.

DP: Did you do any other investigation after the seizure of 11-12th December 1984?

AP: No.

DP: Did you come to Bhopal to investigate?

AP: No.

DP: Was Murari Lal investigating in Bhopal?

AP: I do not know.

DP: You were not coordinating with the investigations in Bhopal?

AP: No.

 

5 May 2000

Arguments before the Judge:

CBI filed an application in the court asking the court to direct UCIL  to establish the genuineness of the documents seized by CBI from UCIL, Bombay.

UCIL say they have not been allowed detailed inspection of the documents seized.   UCIL say that they have been given copies of the seizure memo but not the documents mentioned in the memo.

UCIL's counsel seeks copies of the documents seized from the Bombay office of UCIL.

CBI agrees to give copies to UCIL.


Proceedings: Deposition and cross-examination of one witness; S. Kumarswamy, aged 62 years, s/o K S Subramaniam , D - 4098, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.[currently retired from UCIL ,and is with PRAXAIR, New Delhi.]

Deposition:

I joined UCIL in 1957 as a trainee in the battery plant.  I was given 18 months training and then joined as Production Assistant in the Battery Plant, Calcutta.  At that time the company was called National Carbon Company.

After UCC sold its shares to B. M. Khaitan it was called Eveready Industries India Ltd.   Until 1959 I was in Madras, then I went to Calcutta.  I resigned in 1963, then rejoined in 1966.  I do not remember when the name of the company was changed from National Carbon to UCIL.  I retired from EIIL in 1995.

UCC's share was 50.9%.  UCIL was a subsidiary of UCC because UCC held majority shares.  In 1984 the Chairman of UCC was Mr. Warren Anderson.

The Delhi office was called Delhi General Office.  I was in the Delhi office from 1966 to 1995.  I joined in 1966 as Assistant-Government Relations, and retired as Resident General Manager.  I was Resident General Manager for 2-3 years.  In 1984 I was Resident Manager.  As Resident Manager in 1984 I used to report to the Managing Director.  Instructions were given to me by the various group heads (heads of different divisions of the company), such as the Battery Division, Metals Division, Chemicals Division, etc.

At the time of the accident the head (Business Manager) of the Bhopal Unit was Kishore Kamdar.  V. P. Gokhale was Managing Director.  I knew J. Mukund, he was my colleague and Works Manager of the Bhopal plant.  But I had nothing to do with the plant.  Chairman of UCIL was Keshub Mahindra.

My posts were:

  1. Assistant-Government Relations;
  2. Manager-Government Relations;
  3. Resident Manager;
  4. Resident General Manager.

My job was to interpret government policies and how to apply and implement these policies in various corporate activities.  This included:

The UCIL head office was in Calcutta.   UCC had its regional office in Hong Kong.

I knew R. Natarajan, he was not in India in 1984.  He used to be in the Battery Division.  I know him from 1960.   I can recognize the handwritings of Natarajan, Gokhale, Kamdar and J. Mukund if they are addressed to me.  They used to correspond with me in various capacities.   I recognize their signatures.

DP: Do you know that in UCIL, Bhopal, MIC based pesticides used to be manufactured?

AP: Yes.  On 1 January 1970, UCIL applied for a license for the production of MIC based pesticides.  The application was signed by E. A. Munoz who was General Manager APD.  I recognize the signature of E. A. Munoz, I handed over copies of their application to the CBI.

On 13 December 1984 I handed over four files containing correspondence on subjects of:

  1. Industrial license for MIC;
  2. Industrial license for BPMC (benzyl phenyl methyl carbamate);
  3. Industrial license for metha benzthiazuron propoxur;
  4. Foreign collaboration.

File 1 is concerned with the industrial license for MIC based pesticides and contains pages 1 to 185.  File 2 is about the industrial license for BPMC and includes pages 1 to 62.  File 3 deals with the industrial license for metha benzthiazuron propoxur.  File 4 is on foreign collaboration, pages 1 to 132.

I also handed over the brochure on MIC (Exhibit 1336) published by UCC in 1987.  I also handed over the personnel files of these individuals accused - J. Mukund, S. P. Choudhary and R. B. Roychoudhuri.

The witness was shown letters written by R. Natarajan to Kishore Kamdar for identification of signature.  He said he can only recognize signatures on letters written to him.Witness shown letter  (Exhibit - 1332, Mark F) of June 14, 1983 to Member, Central Board of Excise & Customs. Witness agreed that the letter [ New Exhibit number 1339] was signed by him.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEXT DATE OF HEARINGS : JUNE 27, 28,   29, 2000

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------