‘Why Dow Chemicals did not respond to summons’

On the 31st day of their 37- day campaign, the survivors of Union Carbide Disaster sought answers from the CBI, prosecutor of the criminal case on the Bhopal disaster. They asked, “Why has the CBI failed to make Dow Chemicals appear in the ongoing criminal proceedings on the disaster in the Bhopal District Court despite six summons issued by the Court since 2014?”

In 2001, The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC), USA took over Union Carbide USA (while it was absconding Indian courts).  As per Indian and US law, along with the assets of Union Carbide, USA, Dow Chemical also took over civil, criminal and environmental liabilities of Union Carbide in Bhopal.

Between 2014 and 2019, the Bhopal District Court has issued five summons to The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC), USA to produce the proclaimed absconder accused Union Carbide Corporation in the criminal trial of the December 1984 Bhopal disaster. These notices have been issued under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) which provides for the Indian government (CBI & Ministry of Home Affairs) to ask US agencies (Dept of Justice) to ensure that notices are served on Dow  Chemical, USA. “In the last 7 years, Dow Chemical has repeatedly ignored the notices of Bhopal District court and CBI has shown a spineless response in making Dow Chemical obery Indian laws .

“We think it is by design that CBI is behaving the way it is. In 2015 our Prime Minister chose to offer a lavish dinner of Indian fusion delicacies to the CEO of Dow Chemical, Andrew Liveris. It is reprehensible to see our  Prime Minister hoisting the CEO of a Dow Chemical, a US multinational like Union Carbide, who has been defying the Indian justice system while continuing to make millions of dollars as profits through its business in India.”, says Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh.