Bhopal Gas Tragedy: A Chronology

New Delhi
Bhopal Gas Tragedy: A Chronology
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-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
Following is the chronology of Bhopal gas tragedy case in which a Delhi Court today allowed CBI to seek extradition of the then Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation Warren Anderson.

Dec 2-3, 1984: Leakage of toxic Methyl Isocynate (MIC) gas from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal reported. Several people died on the same day which later rose to 15,000 over a period of time. Several thousand animals were also killed.

Dec 3, 1984 : Bhopal Police registers FIR after observing that people were dying around the factory and arrests several UCIL employees, including Jai Mukund (Works Manager), Satya Prakash Chaudhary (Assistant Works Manager), K V Shetty (Plant Superintendent), R B Roy Chaudhary (Assistant Works Manager), Shakeel Ibrahim Qureshi (Production Assistant).

Dec 6, 1984: Case transferred by state government to CBI.

Dec 7, 1984: Police arrests Warren M Anderson, Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation, Keshub Mahindra, Chairman of UCIL and Vijay Prabhakar Gokhle, Managing Director of UCIL.

Dec 7, 1984: Warren Anderson released on bail.

Dec 9, 1984: CBI takes over the case and starts investigation.

Feb 1985: Indian government files claim for USD 3.3 billion from Union Carbide in a US court.

1986: US District Court judge transfers all Bhopal litigations to India.

Nov 30, 1987: CBI files charge sheet in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Bhopal, charging the accused under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder)/326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 429 (mischief by injury to works of irrigation or by wrongfully diverting water) read with section 35 of IPC.

Dec 1, 1987: CJM, Bhopal issues summons against Anderson.

July 7, 1988: CJM, Bhopal issues fresh summons against Anderson.

Sept 20, 1988: Letter received from Embassy of India at Washington that summons had been served on Anderson.

Nov 15, 1988: CJM, Bhopal issues bailable warrants against Anderson.

1989: Indian government and Union Carbide strike out-of-court deal, Union Carbide gives USD 470 million.

Jan 1, 1992: Proclamation against Anderson issued by CJM, Bhopal, publishes in the 'Washington Post' newspaper.

Apr 10, 1992: CJM, Bhopal issues Non-Bailable Warrant of arrest against Anderson for arranging extradition proceedings against him.

May 25, 1992: CJM, Bhopal separates the trial of Anderson, Union Carbide Corporation (USA) and Union Carbide Eastern Inc. (Hong Kong) from rest of the other accused persons.

June 22, 1992: CJM, Bhopal commits the case to the sessions court against rest of the nine accused persons.

1992: CJM, Bhopal declares Anderson as Proclaimed Offender after he jumped bail.

Nov 1994: Despite numerous petitions by survivors’ groups, the Supreme Court allows Union Carbide to sell stake in UCIL to McLeod Russell (India) Ltd of Calcutta.

Sept 13, 1996: After the accused moved the Supreme Court, it diluted the charges framed against them by the trial court which was earlier upheld by Madhya Pradesh High Court.

A bench comprising the then Chief Justice of India A M Ahmadi and Justice S B Majmudar said the accused will be tried under section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and other sections of IPC.

Mar 10, 1997 : The Supreme Court dismissed the petition filed by an NGO, Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti, seeking a review of its 1996 judgement diluting the charges framed against the accused by the trial court.

Oct 11, 2002: CJM, Bhopal issued fresh arrest warrant under section 304, 324 and 429 read with section 35 of IPC. The arrest warrant was not executed by the US authorities and returned.

July 22, 2009: CJM, Bhopal issued fresh NBW against Anderson to appear before the court.

June 7, 2010: After more than 25 years, Bhopal Chief Judicial Magistrate Mohan P Tiwari held guilty all the eight accused persons and sentenced them to two years of jail term along with fine. However, all the eight convicts were granted bail.

Aug 31, 2010: CBI filed a curative petition before the Supreme Court to re-examine its own September 1996 judgment, which had ruled in favour of the trial of various Bhopal gas leak tragedy accused on charges of causing death due to negligence rather than the harsher penal provision of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Feb 28, 2011: A five-judge bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia also said it will hear on day-to-day basis from April 13 the Centre 's plea for restoration of the stringent charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the accused and enhancement of compensation for the victims.

Mar 22, 2011: CBI moves Delhi court to obtain a Letter Rogatory to extradite Anderson from the United States to face trial in India.

Mar 23, 2011: Delhi court allows CBI plea seeking to extradite Anderson from the US.
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