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23 Sep 2011

Aarthi Sivanandh, The Hindu Business Line [India]

Weak laws for corporates [India]

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)...is of the view that the inherent lacunae in the Indian legal system permits corporations to shirk their responsibilities. In its recent report, Access to Justice: Human Rights Abuses Involving Corporations, ICJ states that India has generally been slow to react to developments in fixing the criminal liability of corporations...The Companies Act in India is focused on the operational nuances of corporations and only threatens criminal prosecution of its officers on their failure to file reports, conduct meetings and distribute timely profits and so on. The Act fails to address the fact that there can be stakeholders in corporations other than shareholders. In the case of the Bhopal gas disaster, where the stakeholders are numerous and the corporation is a foreign parent with the chief officer residing abroad, the stakeholders are still fighting for justice. Such corporations are protected from prosecution in India, thanks to the virtual impossibility of India seeking extradition...[also refers to Union Carbide (part of Dow)]

Part of the following timelines

[full report] Access to Justice: Human Rights Abuses Involving Corporations [India]

Union Carbide/Dow lawsuit (re Bhopal, filed in India)