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Bhopal Gas Tragedy Hearing: Dow Chemical’s Lawyers appear at Court After 36 Years

On Tuesday, lawyers from the big American chemical company ‘Dow Chemical‘ went to court for the first time for a hearing about the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. This happened 36 years after the disaster occurred.

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After waiting for about 18 years since they were first asked to come to court, the lawyers finally showed up in the Bhopal court on the seventh request. This time, they were there to discuss an application filed by a non-governmental organization (NGO) that helps the people who suffered in the tragedy.

Dow Chemical in Court

Amy Wilson, who represents Dow Chemical, didn’t show up in person but had a lawyer represent her partly. In the court session, Dow Chemical gave a one-page memorandum to ask for more time. They also said that because they are an American company, the Bhopal court shouldn’t have authority over them, it falls outside the jurisdiction of the Bhopal court.

Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Dow Chemical's Lawyers appear at Court After 36 Years
Source: Google

The High Court which was headed by Judge Vidhan Maheshwari conducted online hearings. A lawyer named Avi Singh, who was representing NGO ‘Bhopal Group for Information and Action’, said that the concept of ‘partial presence’ has no legal standing within criminal jurisprudence.

Singh made it clear that Dow Chemical can’t pick and choose which parts of the court order to follow – they have to follow it all. He also explained that Dow-Chemical had already tried to argue about the court’s authority back in 2005 in the High Court, and that argument was rejected.

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He also mentioned that if the person representing Dow-Chemical doesn’t appeared in court when they’re supposed to, the court can issue a warrant for their arrest that allows them to be released if they pay bail, and the court can continue the case without Dow Chemical being there.

Bhopal Gas Tragedy
Source: Google

Bhopal Gas Tragedy Hearing: Court’s Decision

After listening to what both sides had to say, Judge Vidhan Maheshwari has decided to wait until October 6 before making his decision on the case.

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