Disaster due to synergy of worst of US and Indian cultures: Judge

Written by Milind Ghatwal | Bhopal | Updated: Jun 11 2010, 04:46am hrs
An American corporation cynically used a third world country to escape from the increasingly strict safety standards imposed at home. Chief Judicial Magistrate Mohan Tiwari, who convicted former officials of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) for the Bhopal gas disaster, said the tragedy was caused by the synergy of the very worst of American and Indian cultures.

In his 95-page judgement, Tiwari said that safety procedures were minimal and neither the American owners nor the local management seemed to regard them as necessary.

Holding that there was no disaster plan in place that could be set into motion, the magistrate said, Prompt action by the local authorities could have saved many, if not most of the victims. The immediate response was marred by callous indifference.

Union Carbide should have exercised the greatest care of taken precautions when it was dealing with such lethal chemicals, the magistrate said. Before reaching the operative part, the magistrate has given chemical structure diagrams and quoted laws to make his point.