Tag Archives: Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI)

Bhopal organisation moves for ex-parte trial proceedings against Dow Chemical

Press Statement
13 July 2016

Leaders of all the organisations of survivors of the Union Carbide Disaster in Bhopal today condemned the governments of both India and USA for the non appearance of any representative of Dow Chemical Company in the ongoing criminal case on the disaster.  At the hearing in the District Court, counsel for Bhopal Group for Information & Action (BGIA), a local NGO assisting the Prosecution sought ex – parte trial proceedings against the American company before the judicial magistrate hearing the matter.

“The Indian Criminal Procedure Code expressly provides for ex-parte proceedings against a defendant in a criminal trial that ignores notices of the court.” said Avi Singh a lawyer in Delhi High Court volunteering his services for the Bhopal justice campaign. In court Mr. Singh pointed out that Dow Chemical has publicly admitted their knowledge of the four consecutive notices issued by the Bhopal Court and it is evident on the corporate website. He expressed hope that the Judicial Magistrate who heard the NGO’s application would direct harsher measures against Dow Chemical at the next hearing scheduled for August 6, 2016.

“In the last two years Dow Chemical has thrice ignored the court’s notice and all that the Indian government has done is send one meek request after another and not utter a word on the violation of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in not serving the notice on Dow Chemical” said Rachna Dhingra of BGIA. It was submitted that the CBI is deliberately shielding the Accused.

Bhopal survivors’ organisations had collected over one hundred thousand signatures on a petition demanding that the US DoJ serve Bhopal Court’s notice on Dow Chemical as per the terms of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty signed between India and USA in 1991. As per the terms of the petition on Whitehouse.gov website the US government is obligated to respond to charges of violation of MLAT by the US DoJ.

Satinath Sarangi of BGIA charged the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with deliberate foot dragging, an allegation noted by the Magistrate in his order sheet. ” CBI’s dilatory moves are apparent in what they have presented in court today, he said, as per CBI’s own submission in court, the notice to Dow Chemical was sent  in February this year and the reminder was sent in June only after the letter of five Bhopal survivors’ organisations to the Prime Minister on this matter on June 14.”

The five survivors organisations: Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information and Action and Children Against Dow Carbide had sought the Prime Minister’s directions to the CBI, an agency directly under him, to seek harsher measures against Dow Chemical for its utter contempt  of the law of India where it carries out business through at least five subsidiaries and joint ventures.

Further, BGIA sought start of trial proceeding in the underlying criminal cases, in suspended animation for a quarter of a century, asserting that if UCC/Dow chose not to participate, the Court may proceed ex parte on the basis of the evidence already adduced in the case against the Indian accused.

Satinath Sarangi & Rachna Dhingra

 

Bhopal Group for Information & Action

9826167369

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Letter to PM Modi: Instruct CBI to Take Harsher Measures Against Dow

To Honourable Prime Minister

152, South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi-110011

14 June 2016

Sub: Instruct CBI to take harsher measures against The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC) in the ongoing criminal matter (MJC 91/92) on Bhopal disaster

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

On behalf of the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal we wish to share with you the good news that due to the initiative of the survivors and support from the international community it has been possible for us to collect within 30 days, 100, 000 signatures on a petition to the US President demanding that the US Department of Justice serve the Bhopal District Court’s notice upon The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC), USA so that it appears in the ongoing criminal case on the disaster on July 13, 2016. As per the order of the Bhopal court, TDCC is expected to explain to the court why it has not made its 100 % subsidiary Union Carbide Corporation appear in the ongoing criminal case on the Bhopal disaster.

Continue reading Letter to PM Modi: Instruct CBI to Take Harsher Measures Against Dow

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Supreme Court Dismisses Curative Petition – A Black Day for Bhopal

Supreme-Court_5

Injustice today at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court verdict on Criminal Curative Petition took everyone in Bhopal by surprise both in its timing as well as in its import.  Most people were expecting the order to come in July after the Supreme Court’s vacations. That is when the civil curative petition hearing is also scheduled for.

What exactly happened? Supreme Court by its order today,

a) dimissed the curative petition

b) upheld the 1996 order

c) issued a clarification stating that the 1996 order in no way bar a lower court Magistrate to frame a higher charge.

This is essentially what Mr. Salve, lawyer of the accused, argued for.

Continue reading Supreme Court Dismisses Curative Petition – A Black Day for Bhopal

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Dow Agro: company faces ban on bribery charge

NEW DELHI: Dow AgroSciences India Ltd, the Indian subsidiary of Dow Chemicals, is likely to be blacklisted by the government following its persistent refusal to respond to show-cause notices over charges of bribery.

The agriculture ministry had asked the company why action should not be initiated against it for bribing officials to push three sub-standard pesticides in the country.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, which had investigated the case, had earlier this year held the Mumbai-based Indian arm of Dow Chemicals guilty of bribing a senior central government employee and his aides, and had recommended that the firm be blacklisted. The three pesticides were identified as Dursban 10G, Nurelle-D and Pride.

The details of the bribes paid by Dow AgroSciences — known earlier as DE-Nocil — have been mentioned in the charge sheet filed by CBI in the case.

The charge sheet was filed on the basis of information furnished by the US authorities to the Indian government in response to a letter rogatory, a formal request from a court to a foreign court for judicial assistance.

“The legal action comes after the letter rogatory was executed by the US government on November 17, 2008, to elicit information regarding vouchers of Dow Chemicals to establish payment of bribes during 1996-2001 by Dow Agro Sciences,” CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal had told newspersons in June this year. Acting on CBI’s recommendation, Krishi Bhawan had issued show-cause notice some two months ago to Dow AgroSciences.

But the company has since then, according to senior government officials, employed stalling tactics. Instead of responding to the notice, it questioned the government’s jurisdiction in seeking action against it. It simultaneously sought a few papers and clarifications, which were duly provided to them. The company has failed to get back to the Centre after that.

The GoM looking into various aspects of the Bhopal Gas tragedy, in the meanwhile, had sought to know the status of the show-cause notice. The agriculture ministry, in its response, cited the result of the CBI probe into the case, and its recommendation that the firm be blacklisted. The ministry also pointed out that it had issued show-cause notice to the firm for pushing the three substandard pesticides, but the Dow subsidiary was yet to respond to the charges.

In an effort to cover all its flanks, the agriculture ministry had, before issuing the show-cause notice, also sought the views of the law ministry. The latter, in its response, asked it to take the registration committee on board.

The CBI team investigating the case had earlier found out that Ratan Lal Rajak, a former plant protection advisor to the government, and his aides had been paid $32,000 in cash and jewellery, while their travel and hotel expenses were also picked up by Dow AgroSciences.

It later filed charge sheets against Rajak and a middleman, identified only as Satyabroto, in the court of a special judge in Ambala (Haryana) for accepting bribes from Dow Agro. The then managing director of Dow Agro, who is a British citizen, and two firms linked with Satyabroto, Agro Pack and Crop Health Products, were also mentioned in the charge sheet for corrupt deals.

According to the CBI charge sheet, Rajak was a member of all the three committees of the Faridabad-based Central Insecticides Board and Registration that granted permission for the sale of DE-Nocil products in India.

The Dow scam was unearthed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2007. It had also fined Dow Chemicals $325,000 for bribing the officials in India to fast-track permission to sell its pesticide brands that are banned in the US and many other countries.

The SEC, in a ‘cease and desist’ order to Dow on February 13, 2007, charged the company with violations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for letting a subsidiary use funds for illegal activities in a foreign country. The order was passed after Dow voluntarily approached a commission staff with the results of an internal investigation of DE-Nocil.

The order said, “none of these payments were accurately reflected in Dow’s books and records,” adding that “Dow’s system of internal accounting controls failed to prevent the payments” in violation of the internal control provisions of the FCPA.

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Government protected Anderson: former CBI Director

INDUSTRY, IMPARTIALITY, INTEGRITY, says the badge of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the national equivalent of America’s FBI.

Not according to its former Joint Director B. R. Lall, who was the senior officer in charge of the Bhopal investigation from April 1994 to July 1995.

Lall, clearly nettled by criticisms that his organisation neglected its duty while he was in charge, went on Indian television to reveal that the CBI, which is run out of an obscure department headed by the Prime Minister, received a written communication from the Ministry of External Affairs instructing it not to proceed with the extradition of Warren Anderson.

“CBI investigation was influenced and commanded by some officials, as a result the justice in the Bhopal Gas leakage case got delayed, hence, denied.”

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