Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Chronology of Events

This is picked up from Manorama Online

New Delhi: Time line of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy and court trial in the case:

-- Dec 2-3, 1984: Lethal gas from Union Carbide India Ltd’s (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal leaks on the night of Dec 2-3, 1984, killing over 3,500 instantly and many more later.

-- Dec 3, 1984: First Information report on the incident registered at Bhopal’s Hanuman Ganj police station.

-- Dec 7, 1984: American Union Carbide Corp’s (UCC) chairman Warren Anderson, along with the multinational’s Indian officials arrested in Bhopal, but released on bail same day.

-- Dec 1, 1987: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) files charge sheet against Anderson, US-based Union carbide Corp and the Union Carbide Eastern Hong Kong, along with other Indian officials accused.

-- Feb 14, 1989: The central government inks pact with Union Carbide, absolving the firm and all its officials of civil and criminal liabilities for the disaster for a payment of $470 million.

-- Oct 3, 1991: The Supreme Court revokes criminal immunity to the firm and its officials.

-- Nov 11, 1991: Criminal cases against all accused revived in the chief judicial magistrate’s court at Bhopal.

-- Jan 1, 1992: Proclamation for Anderson’s appearance in Bhopal court published in the Washington Post.

-- April 10, 1992: The Bhopal court issues non-bailable arrest warrant against Anderson and directs the central government to seek his extradition from the US.

-- April 20, 1992: The court directs confiscation of UCC’s shares and properties of UCIL.

-- April 30, 1992: Due to their continued defiance of court orders, the court hearing criminal proceedings against the accused attaches UCC’s shares and properties of UCIL.

-- May 22, 1992: Proclamation declaring UCC Hong Kong as an absconder published in the South China Morning Post.

-- May-June 1992: The court bifurcates cases of Indian accused from those of US accused, begins trial of Indian accused separately.

-- May-June 2003: India seeks Anderson’s extradition from the US.

-- July 13, 2004: The US rejects India’s request for Anderson’s extradition.

-- June 7, 2010: The Bhopal court convicts seven Indians, including UCIL’s chairman Keshub Mahindra, and sentences them to two years’ jail.

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