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Bhopal Gas Tragedy - Essay Example

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In the paper “Bhopal Gas Tragedy“ the author examines the compensation issue of Bhopal tragedy, which reminds us the dangers associated with the blind welcoming of foreign direct investments. Neither the government nor the court succeeded in providing justice…
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Bhopal Gas Tragedy
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Bhopal Gas Tragedy

 Union carbide had 50.9% share in UCIL, the company which caused this huge tragedy. The Indian government had control over the remaining 49.1% of the shares. Supreme Court of India allowed Union carbide to sell out its shares to Eveready Industries India Limited in 1994 even though the compensation cases were pending in the Civil and criminal courts in Bhopal, India. In 2010, one of the district court of Bhopal convicted seven ex-employees of UCL along with its chairman Warren Anderson. The court declared 2 years imprisonment as punishment and $ 2000 as fine to these culprits. However, Anderson refused to accept these punishments, citing the reason that Indian courts do not have the authority to punish him since he is an American citizen. Anderson’s argument has caused many controversies and debates with respect to international law. It should be noted that plenty of companies operating internationally at present. It is quite possible that these companies may create problems in overseas soil and the question of compensation arises then. Moreover the compensation distributed for the victims also created controversies in India. There are plenty of people who believe that the compensation given to the victims are not sufficient. To get more insights into the topic of compensation, while companies operate internationally, this research analyses Bhopal gas tragedy compensation case. Out of 10,29,517 registered cases claiming compensation, 5,74,376 have been awarded compensation after adjudication, said Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers, Srikant Kumar Jena. "A total sum of Rs. 15500.9 million (Rs.1549.19 crore) has been disbursed in 5,73,920 cases upto 31.3.2012. A further sum of Rs. 15105.3 million (Rs.1510.53 crore) has been paid as pro-rata compensation to 5,62,789 of these cases upto 31.3.2012, as per the orders of the Supreme Court. In the remaining 11,587 cases, pro-rata amount is yet to be disbursed," said Srikant Kumar Jena in Lok Sabha (Singh). After reading these statistics presented by the Indian minister one would believe that the compensation dispersed in this case was more than fair. However, a person who analyses this case more deeply may arrive at different conclusions. It should be noted that nobody has any idea about how many of unaddressed victims are there in this tragedy. It is a fact that majority of the victims in this tragedy was those who were waiting for trains in the nearby railway stations. Moreover, many others who died in this disaster were yet to be identified. Government is dispersing compensation only to the identified victims and that also after around 28 years from the tragedy. Majority of the victims who survived this tragedy have already died within this 28 years of period. Under such circumstances, how the government can claim that justice is given to the victims. It should be noted that only the relatives of the victims are currently getting the compensation since the victims are no more to receive this compensation. It is difficult for the government to justify the delays caused in this case to disperse the compensation. The major objective of giving compensation is to provide some kind of relief to the victims. ... Read More
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