Saturday, June 26, 2010

GoM on Rajiv and Bhopal: sloppiness or cover-up?

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article485563.ece

"After the Central government's intervention, it was stated that Mr. Anderson and others were only taken into protective custody and lodged in the company's guest house to save them from mob violence."

 The GoM report notes in paragraph 16 that an FIR was registered at the Hanumanganj police station on December 3, 1984 against Carbide officials which mentioned only Section 304-A (gross negligence) and no other section.

But the reports by G.K. Reddy and PTI note that Mr. Anderson and others "were arrested" as soon as they landed in Bhopal from Bombay "under seven different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Sections are: 120B (criminal conspiracy), 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 304A (causing death by negligence), 426 (mischief), 429 (mischief in the killing of livestock), 278 (making atmosphere noxious to health), and 284 (negligent conduct in respect of poisonous substances)".

In fact the bond which Mr. Anderson signed in Bhopal prior to his release also noted: "I have been arrested by Hanumanganj Police Station, District Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India under Criminal Sections 304 A, 304, 120 B, 278, 429, 426 & 92. I am signing this bond for Rs. 25,000/- and thus undertaking to be present whenever and wherever I am directed to be present by the police or the Court".

Since Section 304 is a 'non-bailable offence', i.e. bail can only be granted by a judge and not on the basis of a bond, were legal corners also cut to ensure Mr. Anderson was released immediately? The prior grant of safe passage meant he should never have been arrested in the first place.



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