|Charging the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with deliberately delaying the Bhopal gas disaster case by seeking repeated adjournments, the victims of the world’s worst industrial disaster Friday said they were planning to appoint their own counsel to fight the legal battle.
‘The CBI perhaps wants that the case is delayed to such an extent that one day it is closed for ever. This is evident from the method of seeking repeated adjournments in the hearing by the investigating agency,’ Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) convenor Abdul Jabbar told media persons here.
The CBI counsel sought an adjournment even when the case was listed for final hearing on April 12 before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Mohan P. Tiwari here. ‘This clearly shows that the CBI deliberately wants to delay the case,’ Jabbar said.
‘Though the two arrest warrants against the prime accused – the then Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson – were issued on March 27, 1992 and July 22, 2009, the CBI and union government had taken no action to execute them,’ he said.
He said that the final arguments started only after CJM snubbed the CBI for seeking repeated adjournments of hearing in the case.
Jabbar also accused the CBI of preparing and presenting a ‘weak’ charge sheet in the case on December 1, 1987.
‘More than 178 witnesses, belonging to weaker sections of society were registered so far while several important witnesses were left out,’ he said.
Around 178 prosecution witnesses and eight in defence had deposed in the court. The prosecution had submitted 3,008 documents against eight accused officials of Union Carbide, Bhopal.
The tragedy occurred when the toxic leak from the Union Carbide Corporation’s now defunct, pesticide plant killed and maimed thousands of people on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984 in Bhopal.