Govt's bid to absolve Dow Chemicals is scandalous: Experts

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New Delhi, Apr 21 (UNI) Terming the government's bid to withdraw 'Dow Chemicals' name from the court in the 1984 Bhopal tragedy case, as ''shockingly scandalous,'' legal experts today said absolving the company of the 'liability crime' would discredit India's concern for environment.

Even as the reckless dumping of toxic waste had made life miserable for people within a 3 km radius of the Union Carbide plant, the government was preparing to absolve the company of its crime of the world's largest industrial disaster and its liability to pay for the environmental damage, eminent legal expert and Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan told the media.

''In its bid to get an investment of one billion dollars and not antagonise the American investors lobby, the government was staking its people's health concern and credibility,'' he said.

''Instead of dischargng its statutory duties of protecting the environment and holding the polluters liable, the government was still holding on the issue of revoking the registration, allegedly done through payment of bribes, by Dow Chemicals of three pesticides, in the country.'' In addition to this, the Ministry of Commerce has also granted permission to Reliance Industries for acquiring Union Carbide's UNIPOL technology for its Jamnagar plant which was illegal, he informed.

Representing 270 legal professional, including retired judges and legal experts, under the aegis of International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, Mr Bhushan said, ''We demand that a special commission be set up to implement the rehabilitation measures, revoke the licences of three chemicals - Durspan, Nurelle and Pride - without mixing concerns of investment with the issue of justice for the Bhopal tragedy victims.'' Along with this, we also want that approval given to Reliance Industries be revoked as all properties of Union Carbide, including Intellectual Property Rights, was to be confiscated as it was absconding from criminal hustice in the Bhopal tragedy case, Mr Bhushan added.

UNI AN BDP RAI1912

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