Bhopal tragedy: Moily defends Centre, blames judiciary for delay

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New Delhi, June12 (ANI): Union Law and Justice Minster M Veerappa Moily on Saturday defended the Central Government's stand on the Bhopal gas tragedy and blamed the judiciary for delaying the case and letting the then Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson get away.

Reacting on the case related to the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy that killed several thousands of people, Moily said the government is sorry about what has happened.

He insisted that the case against Warren Anderson was still not closed.

"I am already on record that case is not closed against Anderson. CBI had filed a chargesheet against Anderson and all the other accused under Section 304(2) where the maximum punishment is 10 years," Moily said.

Moily further said the government did its duty at that time and that because of judiciary, justice was delayed.

"But the case was converted to 304 A - which is meant for car accidents - by the Chief Justice of India at that time. For an offence of this dimension, I am sorry it was reduced. The government had done its duty, but because of judiciary it was delayed," he said.

Terming the Bhopal gas tragedy as a disaster, Moily underlined the need for standard law to deal with such cases.

"We are working on fast-tracking such cases. Cases of mass destruction should have standard law. Mass destruction is not an accident but a disaster. A process of class litigation should also be there," Moily said.

Commenting on former Tamil Nadu Governor, P C Alexander's allegation that then Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Arjun Singh was present at the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) meeting though he was not a part of such committee, Moily said "He made a very motivated statement because he has changed party loyalties. It seems he's with BJP and Sena."

The United States has said that it would carefully evaluate any new request from India to bring to justice Warren Anderson, who is wanted in a case related to the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy that killed several thousands of people.

State Department spokesman P J Crowley said the US will give a fair consideration if an extradition request came from India.

India and US have an extradition treaty.

Interacting with media, Crowley said the US will "carefully evaluate" any request from India. (ANI)

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