CBI recieved letter from MEA against pursuing extradition proceedings: B.R. Lal

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Gurgaon, June 8 (ANI): A former Central Bureau of Investigation officer B R Lal on Tuesday claimed that he had been advised by the Exteral Affairs Ministry not to pursue the Bhopal gas tragedy case thoroughly, particularly, in context of extradition of the head of the Union Carbide, Warren Anderson.

Lal said that he just followed the instructions from the ministry that the extradition proceedings should not be pursued.

"The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) received a letter from the Ministry of External Affairs that the extradition proceedings should not be pursued; obviously the government's intention was to not include him (US citizen Anderson heading the Union Carbide). I do not know what the agreement was between the two countries on the issue. And anyway, in a country like ours, no investigations can be done against the rich and people with high contacts," said B R Lal, a former investigation officer of CBI while reacting to the latest verdict of a Bhopal court that sentenced seven top executives of Union Carbide India Limited including the then Chairman of the company, Keshub Mahindra.

He also said that he had opposed the decision of the ministry and did not know what happened to the case since was transferred and posted elsewhere.

"The CBI is not an independent agency and cannot do an investigation on its own. We follow the orders that are given to us. When I received the letter, I opposed it and sent it back saying that it is wrong. Later I got transferred and don't know what happened then. If it was dropped finally and at what stage, it was dropped, I do not know," Lal stated.

The seven accused were awarded a jail term of two years and a fine of rupees one lakh each on June 7 after they were chargesheeted for their negligence that resulted in the leakage of toxic gas at the plant of Union Carbine at Bhopal in 1984.

Of the eight prime accused, one died during the intervening period of trial.(ANI)

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