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Case on Anderson not closed: Moily
Published on 9 Jun. 2010 12:39 AM IST
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The case against Warren M Anderson, former chairman of the American parent company Union Carbide Corp blamed for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, is not yet closed and the US citizen got away from India because the case against him was looked at casually, said Law Minister Veerappa Moily on Tuesday.
“Here is a person who has not responded to the summons -- therefore he has absconded himself. The court will declare any accused, who could not be procured before the court, as a proclaimed defender. This does not mean cases are closed on them,” said Moily.
Moily was speaking to CNN-IBN on Tuesday when he said that a Bhopal court’s judgment in the case was disappointing and the government would study the compensation given to victims and punishment awarded to eight Indians. Moily blamed former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officer B R Lall, who investigated the gas leak case from April 1994 to July 1995, for letting Anderson away.
Moily said that the officer should have taken a stand and insisted on Anderson’s extradition. “I personally feel that the investigating officers, the judiciary and the executive should have taken it (demanding Andersen’s extradition) to a serious pitch. It has been very casually looked on. It is not a reflection of the judiciary but I would rather say the time has now come to revisit the whole process of judiciary,” he said.
Lall though claims he was asked not to “pursue” an extradition case against Andersen. He alleges that he got a letter from the External Affairs Ministry but doesn’t remember who signed it. “It was an order--reasons need not be given. It was a missive that don’t pursue this extradition case because of bilateral understanding and all those things,” Lall told CNN-IBN on Tuesday.
Lall claimed the CBI had enough evidence against Andersen to press for his extradition but he got away because of the government. “Every high profile gets out from the CBI’s hands because that is the wish of the government.
The CBI is a highly skilled agency but it is not allowed to work against people in high places. I was moved out of the CBI because I insisted on following people in high places,” said Lall.
Anderson and several Indian officials of Union Carbide were arrested in Bhopal after registration of a police complaint against them in Bhopal on December 3, 1984. He was released on bail and flew to the US.

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