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30 Jun 2010

Sunita Narain, Down to Earth

The Bhopal legacy: reworking corporate liability

After 25 long years the court of the chief judicial magistrate pronounced its verdict on the criminal case against Union Carbide…on the matter of negligence and liability. The court’s decision holds seven officials of Union Carbide India guilty, but on diluted charges…and lets off the main accused of the US parent company…Bhopal is also about what the country, indeed all countries, must do about corporate liability for the unknown…This is the right time to ask the Indian government to rethink the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Bill…The bill caps the operator’s liability at…[an] amount…even less than what was paid in the case of Bhopal, a ridiculously low amount…The issue of liability must be established and it must be based on full costs. [also refers to BP, ExxonMobil]