New Delhi/Washington, Jun 8: In an unexpected fall-out of the Bhopal gas tragedy verdict, the Indian government may be forced to rethink its ties with the United States on the whole and revisit the Nuclear liability bill in particular.
"We urge the government not to rush with the crucial legislation. In light of bitter experience of Bhopal, the government should reconsider the nuclear bill seriously," BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said in response to the verdict on the world's worst industrial accidents.
As the discussions on the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Bill was underway, Mr Prasad urged the government to learn lessons from the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, which killed over 15,000 people and continues to haunt the present generation as poisonous chemicals and toxins still linger on.
This atmosphere of incredulity over the judgment in the gas leak case, which stemmed from the fact that the main accused, Warren Anderson, the then CEO of Union Carbide was not facing any legal consequences, was aggravated with US' discomforting reactions to the case.
Addressing a press briefing at Washington on the verdict, US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake said, "I don't expect this verdict to reopen any new inquiries or anything like that. On the contrary, we hope that this is going to help to bring closure to the victims and their families."
"Extradition, as a matter of policy, we don't discuss extradition so I can't comment on that," a leading news channel quoted Blake as saying on Anderson.
With the US washing its hands off the case, the Indian government may be pressurized to review the Indo-US partnership and the N-bill.