Text of Bhopal Disaster Verdict

IN THE COURT OF CHIEF JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE BHOPAL MP

(Presided By Mohan P.Tiwari)

Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996

Date of Institution 01.12.1987

State of Madhya Pradesh through CBI Complainant

Vs.

1 Sri Warren Anderson S/OSri John Martin Anderson Former Chairman,
Carbide Corporation, 39, Old Ridgebury Road, Danbury
USA 06817 (Absconder)

2 Sri Keshub Mahindra S/O Lt. Sri kailash Chandra Mahindra Former
Chairman, Union Carbide India Ltd. 15,Mathew Road Bombay r/o
Ft.No.9&10 St. Helen's Court G.Desmukh road Bombay

3 Sri Vijay Prabhaker Gokhle S/O Sri Prbhaker N.Gokhle Former Managing
Director,Union Carbide India Ltd. r/o15,Mathew Road Bombay

4 Sri Kishore Kamdaar former Vice President i/c AP Division Union Carbide
India Ltd. r/o kshitij 19th Floor Napean Bombay

5 Sri J.Mukund former Works Manager AP Division Union Carbide India Ltd. r/o
6D Landsend Downersi Road Bombay

6 Dr. R.B.Roy Choudhary former Asst.Works Manager AP Division Union
Carbide India Ltd. r/o Satya Ft. No.10,15th Road Bandra(W)Bombay(
dead)

7 Sri S.P. Choudhary,former Production Manager AP Division Union Carbide
India Ltd. r/o 12 Akor Park behind Meera Society Shankersheth road
Gulatkhedi Pune

8 Sri KV Shetty Plant Superintendent AP Division Union Carbide India Ltd. Bhopal
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
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9 Sri SI Qureshi former Operator AP Division Union Carbide India Ltd. Bhopal.

10 Union Carbide Corporation , 39,Old Ridgebury Road Danbury
Connecticut ,USA 06817 (Absconder) (Absconder)

11 Union Carbide Corporation ,(Eastern) Inc. 16th Floor New World Office
Building (East Wing) 24, Sabury Tsimsa Tsu Kowloon Hongkong,
(Absconder)

12 Union Carbide India Ltd. 1,Middleton Street Calcutta- 16
Accused persons

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For the CBI Senior Public Prosecutor Sri Sahai

For the Accused No. 2 ,Mr. Keshub Mahindra ,Former Chairman, Union
Carbide India Ltd. Bhopal & Accused No 12 Union Carbide India Ltd.
1, Middleton Street Calcutta-16

Sri Amit Desai Senior Counsel with Sri Ajay Gupta Adv.
For the Accused No. 39 ,Sri D. Prasad Senior Counsel, and Sri Ajay Gupta Adv.
_________________________________________________________________________________
(Delivered on 0 7, June 2010)

1 Accused persons have been charged under Section 304A 336,337 and S.338 r/w section 35 of Indian Penal Code 1860.

2 The facts are not disputed that the accused persons namely Sri Warren Anderson S/O
Sri John Martin Anderson Former Chairman, Union Carbide Corporation,Danbury Connecticut, USA
Sri Keshub Mahindra ,Chairman, Union Carbide India Ltd. Bhopal, Sri Vijay Prbhaker Gokhle Managing Director,Union Carbide India Ltd Sri Kishore Kamdaar,Vice President i/c AP Division Union Carbide India Ltd ,Sri J. Mukund former Works Manager AP Division Union Carbide India Ltd., Sri Dr.R.B.Roy Choudhary (dead) Asst.Works Manager AP Division Union Carbide India Ltd. , Sri S.P.Choudhary, Production Manager AP Division Union Carbide India Ltd. , Sri KV Shetty Plant Superintendent
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
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Works Manager AP Division Union Carbide India Ltd. Bhopal and Sri SI Qureshi former Operator AP Division Union Carbide India Ltd. Bhopal were employed in the Union Carbide of India Limited (In short UCIL). It is also undisputed that in the UCIL Bhopal Plant pesticide under brand name Sevin and Temik were manufactured with the help of MIC,Phosgene and Chloroform. There were three storage tanks in the plant for the storage of liquid MIC. These tanks were designated as E610, E611 and E619.

On the intervening night of 2nd and 3rd Dec.1984 from the tank no. E610
a huge quantity of MIC escaped which caused the death immediately of thousands of humans beings and also caused simple and grevious injuries to a number of people, some of whom became permanently disabled and the number of effected persons is near about 5 lacs . Thousands of animals and other creatures had also been effected.

3 The brief facts of the case are that the Union Carbide India Ltd.(in short UCIL) is a subsidiary company of the Union Carbide Corporation (in short UCC) USA. UCE Inc. was the Regional Office of UCC, USA which controlled the UCIL, India and others. The UCIL was incorporated on 24th December, 1959. The UCC was a major shareholder with 50.9% of the share holdings in the UCIL. The UCC was nominating its own Directors to the Board of Directors of the UCIL and was exercising strict financial, administrative and technical control over UCIL. UCC business worldwide is conducted principally through the Divisions, subsidiaries and affiliates. Subsidiary
companies are those operating anywhere in the world in which UCC's direct or indirect ownership is more than 50%.

4 Vide letter dated 14.9.1972, the UCIL had submitted application for foreign
collaboration with UCC, USA which was considered at length and in the meantime the company vide letter dated 29.11.1972 represented that the foreign collaborating company had established technical knowledge for several years on the basis of which the foreign company at USA was manufacturing State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
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MIC successfully. On 13.11.73 UCIL entered into an agreement with UCC according to which the best manufacturing information then available had to be provided to UCIL, India. This necessitated the UCC to supply design, know how and safety measures for production, storage and use of MIC which ought to have been an improvement on the factory of UCC, USA based on experience gained there.

5 Vide letter dated 1.1.70 UCIL applied for the License from Progress Section, Industrial Development Internal Trade and Company Affairs, Govt. of India, Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi for manufacturing of 5000 tones of MIC based pesticides. The industrial license for manufacture of MIC based pesticides was granted to UCIL by the Ministry of Industry of Industries & Civil Supplies vide order dated 31.10.75, interalia on the condition that it should be free from air, water and soil pollution.
Vide letter dated 30.9.82 the UCIL requested for renewal of the foreign collaboration for the manufacture of MIC based pesticides. Further vide letter dated 12.11.82 the UCIL requested for expeditious clearance of the application for foreign collaboration mentioning therein that the production of MIC started in 1980 only and the manufacturer of MIC is known to involve extremely hazardous process with complexity of areas of efficiency, material balance, corrosion and safety and
the agreement of foreign collaboration was to terminate in 1982 may be extended. Vide order dated 24.03.83 the Govt. of India extended foreign collaboration with UCC, USA for manufacture of MIC based pesticides from Oct., 1982 to Jan., 1985.

6 Union Carbide of India Ltd. (UCIL) was running a factory at Berasia Road Bhopal for
the manufacture of Methyle Isocynate (CH3 N=C=O)(MIC) based pesticides Sevin and Temic. The MIC was also being manufactured in the plant and being stored in the under ground tanks namely tank no. 610,611 and 619. On the intervening night of 2nd and 3rd Dec. 1984 from 12.00 – 12.45 AM. onwards ,MIC started to escape from one of the tank 610 in the factory of UCIL, Bhopal in the large quantities causing death of thousands of human beings and animals and injuring the health of lakhs of
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human beings. It was of unprecedented nature and has continuing tragic and disastrous effect on human beings and animals. No information was available at the factory site, no warning was given to the people residing around the factory. The case was registered with P.S.Hanumanganj, Bhopal on 02.12.1984 at crime No.1104/84 dt. 03.12.84 u/s 304A IPC by the then SHO Surinder Singh.

7 Later, on 6.12.84 , a case was registered with CBI as RC.3/84ACUI.
After thorough scientific investigation, with help of the team of scientists headed by Dr. S.Vardarajan Director General of CSIR with other scientists, the facts were noticed that MIC was stored in large quantities, the valves and other pipelines used in the UCIL, Bhopal were made up of Iron Steel, Galvanized Iron, Aluminium, Zinc, Copper or their alloys and a fact also revealed that possible entry of water into the
Tank 610 when the water washing was going on. Thereafter a detailed report was submitted to the CBI and after other necessary investigation, CBI filed this Charge Sheet u/s 304, 324, 326, 429 IPC read with Section 35 of IPC against the accused persons, namely Shri Warren Anderson, the Chairman, Union Carbide Corporation, USA; Keshub Mahindra, then Chairman, UCI Bombay; Vijay Gokhle, then Managing Director and presently Chairmancum Managing Director, UCIL, Bombay;Kishore Kamdar, then Vice President Incharge, A.P, Division, UCIL, Bombay; J. Mukund, then Works
Manager, A.P. Divisions, UCIL,Bhopal; Dr. R.B. Roy Choudhary, then Asstt. Works Manager, A.P. Divisions, UCIL, Bhopal; S.P. Choudhary, then Production Manager, A.P. Division, UCIL, Bhopal; K.V. Shetty, Plant Superintendent, A.P. Division, Bhopal; S.I. Qureshi, Operator, A.P. Division, UCIL, Bhopal; the Union Carbide Corporation, U.S.A; Union Carbide Eastern Inc. Hongkong and Union Carbide India Limited, Calcutta was filed on 01.12.1987.

8 My predecessor committed the case to the Court of Sessions for the trial according to law vide Order dated 22.6.1992 and at last the matter went to the Supreme Court and the Hon'ble State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
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Supreme Court in Criminal Appeal No.1672/1996 dated 13.9.1996 directed that the case be tried u/s 304A of IPC and the matter was remanded to this Court for trial u/s 304A, 336, 337, 338 and section 35 IPC Accordingly, the charges were framed.

9 Prosecution has examined 178 witnesses in his favour. accused persons have been
examined u/s 313 Cr.P.C. They have submited that they are not liable for any incident.They were even not present on the site when the gas leaked. They further submitted that it is a mistake of one or the other local employee of the UCIL. They further state that the factory was designed by the UCC, USA which is having expertize in the field of MIC based pesticides business through out the world
having lot of experience, therefore, they can not be held guilty for the alleged offense. In their support they have examined eight witnesses in defence.

10 Now, the points for consideration are: 1) whether on or about the night intervening 2nd & 3rd December, 1984 at Bhopal caused the death of 3828 or more people by doing an act to wit by running a defective plant of MIC a dangerous volatile and poisonous substance having a number of operational defects without reasonable care which resulted in leakage of the poisonous gas from tank No.610 of AP Division of UCIL Bhopal, which was a rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide and sharing the common knowledge of the same did not do anything to avoid the escape of the gas.

2) Whether the accused persons can be held guilty of the same negligible act by
running the same defective plant of MIC without reasonable care and caution
without informing the local people about the remedial precautions which resulted in
the leakage of the gas from tank No.610 endangering human life and personal
safety sharing the common knowledge.

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3) Whether the accused persons can be held guilty of the same negligible act by
running the same defective plant of MIC without reasonable care and caution
without informing the local people about the remedial precautions which resulted in
the leakage of the gas from tank No.610 endangering human life and personal
safety sharing the common knowledge thereby causing simple injuries to the
people.

4) Whether the accused persons can be held guilty of the same negligible act by
running the same defective plant of MIC without reasonable care and caution
without informing the local people about the remedial precautions which resulted in
the leakage of the gas from tank No.610 endangering human life and personal
safety sharing the common knowledge thereby causing grievous injuries to the people.
Point No. 1 to 4

11 Before discussing the detailed evidence adduced by the prosecution in this case it is very much relevant to point out the facts which are either not disputed, or, are, at this stage, beyond the pale of controversy, may briefly be noticed. The Union Carbide Corporation is a company with the Head Quarter in USA having affiliated and subsidiary company through the world. The subsidiaries were supervised by four regional office which were controlled by UCC USA. Union Carbide
Corporation of India Ltd. (UCIL) is a subsidiary of UCC USA and having fourteen factories in India.

The factory situated at Bhopal is one of them. Union Carbide Eastern Inc. with its office in Hongkong, regional office at UCC USA, which controlled the UCIL Bhopal besides others. It was incorporated in India on 20th June, 1934, known as Eveready India Ltd. It was registered under the Union Companies Act. The name of the company was changed from 24.12.1959 into Union Carbide India Ltd. and further registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1956.

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12 UCC USA has been a majority shareholder with 50.9% in the UCIL Bhopal. UCC had
nominated its own director to the Board of Directors of the UCIL and was exercising financial, administrative and technical control over the UCIL. UCIL initially started importing Sevin, a pesticide from US in 1960 and after importing it UCIL was marketing the same after adding dilutants to it.

Subsequently they have decided to manufacture the brand Sevin in Bhopal Plant and accordingly created facilities for production thereof with MIC.

13 MIC was being imported in 200 Ltrs of capacity Stainless Steel Drums from UCC US
from their Plant situated in West Vergenia, USA and later on in 1973 with foreign collaboration agreement they manufacture of MIC. The accused persons at the relevant time were employed in the capacity written against their names:
1. Warren Anderson Chairman, UCC USA
2. Keshuv Mahendra Chairman, UCIL
3. Vijay Gokhle MD UCIL
4. Kishore Kamdar Vice President, Incharge, A.P. Division UCIL.
5. J. Mukund Works Manager, A.P.Div. UCIL
6. Dr. R.B. Roy Choudhari Asstt. Works Manager, A.P. Div. UCIL.
7. S.P. Choudhary Production Manager, A.P. Div. UCIL
8. K.V. Shetty Plant Superintendent, A.P. Div. UCIL
9. S.I. Qureshi Operator, A.P. Div. UCIL

14 The leakage of gas on 2nd3rd December, 1984 and death of number of persons,
animals are the some most important admitted facts.

15 It is argued on behalf of Mr. Vijay Gokhale that he was appointed as MD on 26th
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December, 1983 and was located in Mumbai. Plant was designed and installed successfully and running smoothly for over three years and Mr. Gokhale had no connection with day to day affairs of the Company. The same argument have been advanced regarding Mr. Keshub Mahindra that Mr. Mahindra was Nonexecutive
Chairman of the Company, therefore, both of them can not be convicted.

16 The learned Counsel, Mr. D. Prasad, for the accused persons namely Shri K.S.
Kamdar, Shri J. Mukund, Shri S.P. Rai Choudhary, Shri K.V. Shetty and Shri S.I. Qureshi, has further argued that it was the design defect why the incident took place and there is no recklessness or negligence on the part of any of the accused persons.

17 It is further argued by Shri D.Prasad l.c that there is no substantial evidence led by the prosecution that the plant was running in losses therefore, there was plan to shift the same to Brazil or to some other Country is only a hypothesis of the prosecution. Shri Prasad argued that UCC USA was running at the relevant point of time 17 other profit making companies through out the World and UCIL Bhopal was only a small unit., Therefore, there was no plan pending with the Board of Directors
to shift the UCIL Bhopal plant to Brazil or els where.

18 Bhim Singh PW1, Lalit Shrivastava PW2, Uma Shanker PW3, S.K. Dubey PW4, Dolamani Bhoi PW5, Mohd. Qadir Khan PW6, Shri Mohan Lal PW7, Prem Narayan PW8, Jairam
PW9, Mathura Prasad PW10, Saptnarayan Mishra PW14, Ramesh Prasad PW15, Ramesh
Badriprasad PW16, Ram Lal PW18, Niyamat Ali PW19, Kishan Bahadur PW21, Babuchand Yadav PW22, Bhaiyalal PW24, Mohd. Imran PW25, Roshan Lal PW27, RP Sharma PW31,
Mohd. Saeed PW32, Umrao Singh PW33, Sannawar Ali PW36, Ashok Kumar Sharma PW37,
Lt.Col. A.K. Rashtogi PW40, Gyan Singh Parihar PW42, Umashanker Tigger PW43,
Baidnath Yadav PW46, Ashraf Nadeem PW52, Moti Singh the then collector Bhopal PW54,
the then Collector Bhopal,
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Madan Gopal Parashar PW65, Mohd. Ubed PW81, Mohd. Khawaja PW82, Y.N.Singh PW86,
Mudlapatti Prabhudas Prabhunanda PW92, Keshav Rao PW93, Ramlakhan Sharma PW95,
Shivnandan Singh PW98, G.V.Iyer PW99, Mahesh Kushwaha PW104, Kishore Singh PW105,
O.P. Kochar PW106, Gopilal Maran PW108, Ashok Kumar Shukla PW112, Bhanwarlal PW113,
Thoman P. Mathew PW117, Kunji Lal PW120, Keshav Pratap Singh Chouhan PW121, Syed Aslam Ali PW122, Mubariq Ali PW123, Raqib Mohd. PW124, Roop Singh PW125, P.D. Joshi PW126, Sheikh Mehtab PW130, Ashok Kumar Sharma PW135, LT.Col. Rakesh Sharm PW136,
Mohd. Rayes PW137, Syed Azhar Ali PW140, Jagdish Narayan PW141, Capt. A.K. Inani PW143, Brig. J.N. Daviya PW145, Ahmed Rashid PW146, Head Constable Matlub Khan PW148,
Lt. Col. Rajkumar Tiwari PW152, Col. V.R. Pathak PW163, Nathulal PW168, Shahnawaz Khan PW169 Rajkumar keswani PW 172 a journalist, are the witnesses, who deposed about the leakage of gas on 23.12
84.
Kesharwani, PW 172 who published a news regarding the plant. The same can be considered as an alarm to the govt.as well as to the UCIL. Surendra Singh Thakur PW58
is a witness, who has stated that in December, 1984 he was posted as SHO, PS Hanumanganj, Bhopal.

19 He further deposed that he was on petrolling. He saw a number of people were
rushing and came to know that some gas has escaped from the UCIL Bhopal. He at once returned to the Police Station and informed the senior Police Officers. During this time the people of the city were rushing from here to there, then he went late night to the UCIL Factory, where he met Security Officer Mr. Chauhan and Mr. K.V. Shetty and at last he lodged a FIR against Mr. J. Mukund, J.V. Shetty, S.P. Choudhary, R.B. Roy Choudhari, S.I. Qureshi on the same day, 2.1284 and made entry in Rojnamcha Exh. P.900 and 901 and later on prepared a site map.Exh.P903 and on the 3rd
December, 1984 he has arrested Mr. J. Mukund prepared a arrest memo Exh. P904
on the same day K.V. Shetty, Satyaprakash Choudhary, R.B. Roy Choudhari, S.I. Qureshi were also arrested and

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arrest memo 905 was prepared. On 7th December, 1984 Keshub Mahendra, J.P. Ghokale and
absconded accused Warren Anderson was arrested vide arrest Memo 906 and started investigation.

20 Other police officers, Vipin Tiwari Sub Inspector Police PW59, Daulat Singh PW67
stated that he was posted on the date of incident in P.S. Hanumanganj as ASI. A number of people were lying dead on the roads, therefore, he prepared a report regarding these deaths. G.S. Rajput PW68, Bholaram PW74, Ramswaroop Sharma PW75,
C.L. Sonkar PW149 are some of the Police Officers, who stated regarding the death of a number of people because of the gas leak from the UCIL Bhopal Plant.

21 Dr. Manju Mathur PW23, Dr. R.K. Shrivastava PW30, Dr. Rekha Bhagel PW38,
Dr. G. Kumar Makhan PW37, Dr. Lakhman Das Waswani PW41, Dr. Manmohan Nanda PW44,
Dr. Balkrishna Tiwari PW45, Dr. Bhanupratap Dubey PW47, Dr. N.R. Bhandari PW78,
Dr. K.N. Agarwal PW80, Dr. P.N. Bisaria PW85, Dr. R.N. Tandon PW—96, Dr. Neeta Sahani PW129, Dr. Ashok Sharma PW151, Dr. Kailash Kaushal PW154, Dr. S.S. Kaushal PW159, Dr. Lalit Mishar PW176 are some of the witnesses, who had conducted MLCs or the autopsies of the victims of the gas.

As the fact is not disputed that the gas was leaked and the people were affected and thousands of people were died, therefore, detailed marshaling of the evidence is not required.

22 Therefore, the initial effects of exposure were coughing, vomiting, severe eye irritation and a feeling of suffocation. People awakened by these symptoms fled away from the plant. The acute symptoms were burning in the respiratory tract and eyes, blepharospasm, breathlessness, stomach pains and vomiting. The causes of deaths were choking, reflexogenic circulatory collapse and pulmonary oedema. Findings during autopsies revealed changes not only in the lungs but also cerebral oedema, tubular necrosis of the kidneys, fatty degeneration of the liver and necrotising enteritis.

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23 Those who ran inhaled more than those who had a vehicle to ride. Owing to their
height, children and other people of shorter stature inhaled higher concentrations. Many people were trampled trying to escape.

24 Industrial License relating to the pesticides was granted by the Director General of Technical Development during 199094. The fact has been proved by Vinod Kr. Tyagi PW66, Asstt. Development Officer in the Office of the D.G. Technical Development. He further said that for foreign collaboration the Company was required to give information relating to technical capabilities, royalty, etc. vide letter dated 14.9.1972. An Application was moved by the UCIL for foreign collaboration with
UCC USA and the same was considered vide letter dated 29.11.1972 (Exh. P1145).

25 It was assured by the UCC USA that the Company had technical knowledge of several
years of manufacturing the MIC in USA successfully and on that relying the same UCIL started manufacturing MIC in Bhopal Plant (Exh P1140, 1142 and P1147).

On 26.11.1973 foreign collaboration was approved by the Govt. of India for the period of 5 years from the date of production.

The witness has proved the Industrial License Exh. P1147,
P1148,
P1149,
P1151,
P1153,
P1155
the same has not been challenged. Further the foreign collaboration was extended upto 1985 vide Order (Exh.P1158).

S.S. Gupta PW71, Under Secretary in the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers in
1993 has proved documents P1340 to P1345, according to that the UCIL was importing pesticides Sevin from UCC USA in 60's and was marketing it after adding some dilutants and thereafter started manufacturing of Sevin in Bhopal Plant under an agreement signed on 13.11.1973 with UCC. UCC USA was agreed to provide best manufacturing information, regarding design, safety measures, storage of MIC, than available to UCIL India.

26 The License was provided by the Industrial Deptt. Internal Trade and Company Affairs, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers Govt. of India, Udyog Bhawan New Delhi for manufacturing of
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5000 tons of MIC based pesticides (Exh.P1147, P1148 & P1151).

The conditions were imposed that the plant should be free from Air, Water and Soil Pollution. (Vide letter dated 30.9.1982 exh. P1157 ) UCIL requested extension of foreign collaboration for the manufacturing of MIC base pesticides in Bhopal Plant vide Order dated 24.3.1983 the Govt. of India extended foreign collaboration from
October, 1982 to January 1985 (Exh. P1158)

27 The team of scientists headed by Dr. S.Vardarajan Director General of CSIR with other scientists, the facts were noticed that MIC has to be stored and handled in stainless steel tanks of type 304 or 316 good quality stainless steel. Using any other material could be dangerous. In particular, Iron, steel, galvanized iron, aluminium, zinc, copper or their alloys could not be used for the purpose of storage or transfer / transmission of MIC. The tanks storing MIC have to be ,for the
reasons of safety , twice the volume of the MIC to be stored .It was also advised by the UCC itself that an empty storage tank should also be kept available in standby position at all the time for emergency transfer of MIC. MIC was also advised to be stored in the storage tanks under the nitrogen pressure of the order of 1Kg/cm2g and a specific temperature below 15°c and preferably 0°c was also required to
be maintained. However in tank no.610 the MIC was stored under nearly atmospheric pressure from 22.10.1984,therefore, free passage was available for the entry of back flow of the solution from the VGS into the tank. According to the report of the committee about 500 liters of water entered into the tank no.610 through RVVH/PVH lines .The thermowell and temperature transmitting lines were out of order for quite sometime and therefore, no temperature was being recorded .

28 As the prosecution story reveals that on 2nd of December 84 before 10.45 PM no
deviation was noticed in the pressure of the tank 610 . Soon thereafter in the night shift, some operators noticed the leakage of water and gases from the MIC structure and they informed the control room .The control room operator saw that the pressure had gone up in the tank 610,the
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factory staff tried to control the situation but they failed. The storage and the transfer lines have to be free of any contaminants as even trace quantities of contaminants are sufficient to initiate the reaction which could be a runaway reaction, rapid trimarization. Induction period may vary from several hours
to several days. The generation of heat may cause violent explosion. In particular contaminated water reacts exothermically to produce heat and CO2 . Consequently, the pressure in the tank rise rapidly if MIC is contaminated with water . The reaction may begin slowly, specially if there is no agitation, but it will become violent. All these properties of MIC show that despite all the safety precautions that could be taken, storage of large quantities of MIC in big tanks was fraught with
considerable risk.

29 MIC from tank No.610 and tank No. 611 was being transferred to the Sevin plant
through stainless steel pipelines. MIC is kept under Nitrogen pressure which is supplied through the carbon steel header common to all the storage tanks. There was a strainer in the Nitrogen line.

Subsequent to the strainer the pipe is of carbon steel and leads to make up control valve which also have a body of carbon steel. These carbon steel parts could get exposed to MIC vapours and get corroded, providing a source of contaminant which could enter the MIC storage tank and cause a dangerous reaction with the MIC.

30 During the normal working of the factory MIC fumes and other gases that escaped first pass through a pipe line called Process Vent Header (PVH) of 2“ diameter. The escaping gases were carried by the PVH line to a Vent Gas Scrubber (VGS) containing alkali solution which would neutralise the escaping gases and release to the atmosphere. Another way through which the gases from the tank can escape was th Relief Valve Vent Header (RVVH) of 4” diameter.

31 When the pressure in the tank exceed 40 PSI/g rupture of disk leading to a safety relief

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valve had to break and the said relief valve in the RVVH line open automatically to allow the escaping gas to travel through the RVVH to the VGS for neutralisation. According to the prosecution story the PVH and RVVH and well as the other valves therein were of carbon steel so this was the design defect and valves also allowed back flow of the alkali solution from the VGS to the MIC tanks.

32 Again it is alleged that after investigation the fact was noticed that proper nitrogen pressure was not maintained in the MIC tank since 22nd October, 1984 and the attempts to pressurise the tank on 30/11/84 and 1/12/84 were failed because of the design defect on the date of incident.

Tank No. 610 was nearly atmospheric pressure therefore free passes was available for the entry of back flow of the solution from the VGS into the tank.

33 The CSIR report reveals that the main causacausans for the incident were the
needless storage of large quanty of MIC in large tanks like tank No. 610. Insufficient caution in design choice of material other alarming instruments, inadequate control on systems of storage and on quality of stored materials and as well as lack of necessary facilities for quick effective disposal of material which lead to the incident. Moreso, on the date of incident, the Refrigerating System was
not working ,the Flair Tower was also out of order ,VGS was in capable of neutralilising the large quantity of MIC. The MIC which is a highly dangerous and toxic poison and stored in large quantity was an act of omission on the part of the accused persons . The prosecution story goes ahead that no step was taken by the then authorities namely Shri Warren Anderson, the Chairman, Union Carbide
Corporation, USA; Keshub Mahindra,the then Chairman, UCI Bombay; Vijay Gokhle, the then Managing Director and presently Chairmancum Managing Director, UCIL, Bombay; Kishore Kamdar, the then Vice President Incharge, A.P, Division, UCIL, Bombay; J. Mukund, the then Works Manager, A.P. Divisions, UCIL,Bhopal; Dr. R.B. Roy Choudhary, then the Asstt. Works Manager, A.P. Divisions,

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UCIL, Bhopal; S.P. Choudhary, then Production Manager, A.P. Division, UCIL, Bhopal; K.V. Shetty, Plant Superintendent, A.P. Division, Bhopal; S.I. Qureshi, Production Assistant, A.P. Division, UCIL, Bhopal; the Union Carbide Corporation, U.S.A; Union Carbide Eastern Inc. Hongkong and Union Carbide India Limited, Calcutta regarding ensuring the safety against accidental emission of toxic gases.

34 Now the points raised during the arguments shall be examined critically
and thrashed out as under :
(A )DESIGN
DEFECTS:(a) A principal of safe industrial design is that one does not guard merely against the most predictable ,routine type of accidents .Rather ,one tries to anticipate the worst that could happen ,even if unlikely ,and not only guard against it ,but prepare to contain it, if the worst does not take place. The design flaws at Bhopal plant were not a matter of misplaced nuts and bolts i.e. deviation from an essentially sound plan.

(b) It is argued by the learned CBI Counsel Mr. Sahay that the Plant was initially
defective. He argued that best intermediary tanks were not provided for analyzing the product collected in the tank before it is transferred to the bulk storage tank. The MIC was being directly stored in large tanks instead of keeping it in smaller tanks. No online analyzer or alarm system was provided to continuous monitoring of the quality of the MIC before it stored in the tanks. He referred document No.164 (Exh. P72).
There was only one common Refrigeration System for all the three tanks. As aforementioned the MIC must be stored at the temperature of not more than 15oC.
preferably at 0oC. But the Chiller System was inadequate and at the time of incident it was under repair or out of order. No spare compressor or standby Chiller System was available at the relevant
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point of time. (Exh. P74 Document No.164)

(c) The temperature of Bhopal City is normally 39oC round the year and at this
temperature the storage of MIC was quite dangerous. The Vent Gas Scrubber was also inadequate, ineffective and out of order at the relevant point of time. VGS was designed to neutralize a maximum of 3.5 tons of MIC @ 9.6 tons/hour in the vapour form. Therefore, neither the liquidity nor the gas disposal system was capable of handling the event, which occurred in the intervening on 2nd & 3rd
December, 1984.

(d) On the other hand it is argued on behalf of the UCIL that the accused company
acquired the Plant from UCC USA, which was a 50.9% shareholder in the company at the relevant time. The Plant was acquired after obtaining of all Governmental approvals and license. It was set up sometime in 1979 under Designed Transfer Agreement & Technical Service Agreement dated 13.11.1973 (Exh. P1406).

Both these Agreements categorically record that UCC was a global leader
in the field of MIC based pesticides having been engaged in this field for many decades prior to these Agreements. The accused Company made every efforts to acquire the best possible technology and design that was then available. The Plant was set up under the guidance and supervision of UCC and with the assistance of reputed company M/s Humphrey and Glasgow, M/s Larsen & Tubro Equipments Suppliers.

(e) The learned Counsel for the UCIL has submitted further that every omission of
an equipment does not amount “design defect”. Further more, knowledge that may have been acquired post a particular incident or a event does not necessarily mean that the equipment upto that point of time was defective. Defect would necessarily have to be with reference to the knowledge of the necessary technology or availability of the necessary equipment at the time when the Plant is designed or set up. Regarding the Chiller System the learned Counsel argued that it was in working

18
condition. It has been switched off and was used only at the time when MIC was being transferred into Drums. The cause of accident was not on account of the fact that the refrigeration system was not in working order, even otherwise, a properly functioning Chiller System would not be able to prevent the escape of the gas.

(f) As far the VGS is concerned, nobody has estimated that in 2 hours 28 tons of
vaporized MIC would escape. The incident of escape of 28 tons of vaporized MIC in the history of MIC Plant is not known till today. Therefore, it could not be suggested that there was a defect in the design, which was known to the accused persons.

(g) Undisputedly the MIC was started to be manufactured at Bhopal Plant from 1979
under the technology provided by the UCC USA as per the Agreement signed and the License was granted by the Govt. of India and till 1984 no major incident took place since than except one incident that occurred in the MIC Plant of UCIL at Bhopal on 24.12.81 when Mohd. Ashraf a Maintenance Fitter was working on one of the vaporizer line under the Supervision of Shri Kalyan Roy. A Criminal Case u/s 304A
IPC was registered. The same proceedings initiated on the FIR lodged by one
Rajendra Prasad Bajpai, was quashed vide Order dated 13.12.1989 u/s 482 Cr.P.C. by the Hon'ble High Court passed in M.Cr.C. No. 206/1989 (Satyprakash Choudhary Vs State of M.P.)

(h) The prosecution's main contention is that the Plant was defective and poor
maintenance were the direct and proximate cause of the incidence. It is based on the opinion of the Scientists as given in the Report on scientific studies on the factors related to Bhopal Toxic Gas Leakage (Exh. 575, Document No.164 ), (Exh. 807,Exh. 808,) and Methyl Isocyanate (Exh. 576), a manual of UCC, It is argued on behalf of the accused persons by the learned counsel Shri D. Prasad that these reports have no evidential value as they are facts finding reports. On this point he

19
referred the case of R. Venkat Kishnan Vs Central Bureau of Investigation (2009) 11 SCC 737. The brief facts of this case, are a Committee was formed in the Chairmanship of Shri R. Jankiraman, the then Dy. Governor of Reserve Bank of India, in connection with the transactions carried out by late Harshad Mehta in conivance with Officials of the Financial Institutions, Banks illegally as a result
whereof Late Harshad Mehta was allowed to obtain some of Rs.40.00 crores, which was actually call money given as a loan by National Housing Bank to UCO Bank. Similar illegal transactions relating to Govt. securities and other nonGovt.
Securities came to the notice of the Central Govt. The Committee submitted its report between May 1992 and April, 1993 on the basis of the report of the
said Committee Special Courts were constituted in terms of the Special Court (Trial of Offenses relating to transactions and securities) Act, 1992. In Para 67 & 68 it has been observed by the Hon'ble Apex Court and the Committee was not a Court, it did not render any decision and was merely a fact finding body. It was constituted for a limited purpose. Contents of the report, therefore, without formal proof could not have been taken in evidence. Accordingly, the Jankiraman Committee Report is not admissible in evidence. The report may facilitate investigation, but can not form basis of the conviction and sentence of the accused for the said purpose the report was wholly inadmissible in evidence.

(i) The circumstances as exists in the case at hand are quite distinguishable. The
report (Exh. P575) is not simply a fact finding report . It is a result of studies of a team constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. S. Varadarajan, Director General of CSIR and the other Members – Dr. S. Varadarajan PW57, Dr. L.K. Doraiswamy, Dr. N.R. Ayyangar, Dr. C.S.P. Iyer PW158, Dr. A.A. Khan PW159, Dr. A.K. Lahiri PW128,
Mr. K.V. Muzumdar PW139, Dr. R.A. Mashelkar PW49, Dr. R.B. Mitra PW, Dr. O.G.B. Nambiar PW116, Mr. V. Nambiar, Mr. V. Ramachandran, Mr. V.D. Sahasrabudhe, Dr. S. Sivaram PW48, Dr. M. Sriram PW127 Dr. G. Thyagarajan, Dr. R.S.
20

Venkataraman.. The Report has been proved in the Court by examining the expert scientists Dr. Varadarajanh himself a highly qualified and experienced person have got his IIT from Mumbai and he obtained PhD from US in Chemical Engineering and worked in different reputed Organisations like Hindustan Lever Ltd., Mumbai, Due Pond, USA and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology under Counsil of Scientific and Industrial Research (C.S.I.R.).In and the other scientists who are highly
qualified persons.

(j)Dr. S. Varadarajan PW57,in Para 2 of his statement has stated that after the
gas tragedy Govt. of India, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers has asked the Chairman to send a few experts. He came to Bhopal on 4th of December, 1984 alongwith two of his colleagues and later on a team of experts came to the Bhopal Plant to know how it happened. The team was headed by Dr. S. Varadarajan. In para 3 he further said that the team of experts including Dr. Iyanggar, Dr. Iyer, Dr.
Khan, Dr. Lahiri, Mr. Majumdar, Dr. Mashelkar, Dr. Mitra, Dr. Nambiyar, Mr. Ramchandra, Mr. Sahasrabudhe, Dr. Sevaram, Dr. Tyagrajan and Dr. Venkataraman, visited the factory site on a number of occasions and took number of samples and studied the causes of the leakage of MIC and thereafter they have submitted a detailed report (Exh. P575)

(k)Dr. M.Sriram (PW48) further deposed that a document, which was a brochure of
UCIL, which is exhibited as Ex.P576 was given to Dr. Varadarajan. An objection was raised during the course of evidence that the said document is a Xerox copy of a document and therefore, can not be read in evidence. I am of the view that aforesaid objection was immaterial as document in question was issued by UCC itself and in the later stage the methods and precaution given in the same has been used as defence. Therefore, the objection raised by the learned defence counsel being devoid of merit and is not sustainable. Thus document Exh. P576 can be read in evidence, It

21
is a brochure regarding the properties of Methyle Isocyanate,MIC, (CH3 N=C=O) and reveals the procedure regarding the storage and handling the same.

(l)The learned Counsel for the defence, Shri D. Prasad, in his submission has
said that this is a document (Exh. P576) which is expected to be used by the retailers and not by the manufacturers. The argument advanced by the learned Counsel is not acceptable as MIC is a chemical and its storage, even at the manufacturing place or otherwise, can not be distinguished as it stored in large quantity the criteria of precaution would not be different. More so, the learned Counsel
in his argument has referred this document for a number of times as a defence document. Therefore, two standards can not be offered for the same document at the same occasion.

(m)Dr. M. Sriram further stated in Para 4 that the tanks for storage of MIC are
designated as E610, E611 & E619, out of these two were used for storage of MIC and the third one was kept as standby empty tank. The tanks were made of SS 304/ SS 316 with a diameter of 8 ft. and length of 40 ft. The MIC was stored under Nitrogen Pressure of 1.0 Kg./cm.sqr.g. The supply of the Nitrogen to the storage tanks by a common header of carbon steel. Excess Nitrogen from individual tank is taken to 50 mm common Process Vent Header (PVH) i.e. of carbon steel. There was a Relieve Valve Vent Header (RVVH) for individual tank. That was also of carbon steel. Both
RVVH and PVH were interconnected. Therefore, use of carbon steel amounts to a gross negligence on the part of the accused persons as it is a restricted metal with regard to MIC.

(n) There was a Vent Gas Scrubber (VGS), which was meant to neutralized the
toxic exhausted from MIC Plant and Storage System. It is between 1.6 lt. of diameter to 3.6 diameter and about 15 meters of height where an accumulator dilute caustic solution was kept for circulation.

22
The VGS Accumulator was able to neutralize a certain quantity of MIC at a controlled rate. There was a Flare Tower which was used primarily to burn the vent gases from Carbon monoxide (CO) Unit.

The flare tower also burnt normal vent gases from MIC storage tanks and VGS, was also adequate for a small quantity of the gases [3.5 tons (7700 lb of MIC @ 9.6 tons/hr {21200 lb/hr} in a vapour form)], but, not expected to handle large release of MIC vapour directly. (Exh. P912)

(o) Therefore, there was no arrangement to handle such a huge release of gases
from the Factory. Accumulator, volume of 80m3 (21000 gal) if fitted with the recommended 10% caustic solution can be utilized for a maximum of about 13 tons of MIC. It might have been stored in small quantities instead of large tanks like 610 & 611 looking to the production of Sevin in the Bhopal Plant, which is approximately 34
tons per day. Therefore, considering the nature of MIC it was not safe to store 90 tons of the material that too in large tanks. Therefore, it is again a gross negligence towards the safety measures of the MIC.

(p) The same facts have been corroborated in their court statements by another
Scientist of team,. Dr. R.K. Mashalker PW49 in his statement has also drawn attention regarding the Report, which is in 2 Vol., Exh. P807 & Exh. P808,
apart from Exh. P575. Dr. S. Varadarajan PW57, was the Head of the team of experts who visited the Plant Site very next day of the incident. He is an expert having excellent qualification. M.Sc. PhD. From Delhi & Cambridge several Honorary D.Scs
also former President all three major Indian Academy of Science Bangalore, Indian National Academy Delhi started by Shri M.N. Shah and Indian National Academy of Engineering and a number of other Societies.

(q)Dr. S. Vardharajan PW57, in para 2 of his statement states that there were
several defects, such as MIC is a liquid but it evaporates with air and is highly toxic on inhilation as it is made of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide converted into Phosegen, is required to be utilized

23
immediately and not to be stored. Storage of MIC should have been highly limited only to meet the requirements for conversion into Sevin as little as possible.
(r)In Para 5 he further says that the design required inhibitor to prevent voluntary
polymerization of MIC. Polymerization produces very high temperature and that accelerates polymerization in an explosive manner. There are design defects, such as use of Carbon, Steel and other material and pipes and other materials . These are leading to corrosion in the presence of even quantities of Hydrogen Chloride, Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) arising from Phosegen, Chloroform and other Chloride materials.

(s)Dr. O.G.B. Nambiyar PW116, Dr. S. Sivaram PW127, Dr. A.K. Lahiri PW128 and Dr. K.V. Mazumdar PW139, Dr. C.S.P. Aiyyar PW158, Dr. A.A. Khan PW159 are also well qualified with vast experience in the relevant field also are of the same opinion. They are the experts, who personally analyzed the various events, instruments and tests of various samples. Therefore, their opinion can not be discarded.

(t)Now I consider the evidence of the Defence witnesses led by the accused persons. They are: Mr. V.K. Behl (DW1), Mr.V.S. Subramanium (DW2), B.R.D. Krishnamurthy (DW3), T.K. Unnikrishnan (DW4), N.C. Agnihotri (DW5), A.V. Paralikar DW6,
V.R. Tadwalkar DW7, T.R. Raghuraman (DW8).

(u)V. K. Behl (DW1) says that from August 1978 to May, 1984 he was employed
in UCIL, Bhopal in the capacity of Safety Manager. He is a B.Sc. Chemical Engineer from Punjab Chandigarh University and had been employed in different organisation in different capacities. He further says that very high standard of security was maintained in UCIL. There were several safety manuals for the Plant and compliance thereof, of very high standard, but, he did not utter a single word regarding the design of the Plant. All the manuals are in English language and how they were

24
understandable to the workers less qualified or did not know Eglish language. Therefore, his statement as far as the design of the Plant is concerned serves no purpose.

(v)Mr. V.S. Subramanium (DW2) says that he joined UCIL on March 1st, 1960 at
Calcutta. However, he further says in Para 13 that he was never employed in UCIL Bhopal Plant and never visited and was quite unaware about the process that how MIC was being manufactured in Bhopal Plant. In Para 14 he again says that he has no idea about the MIC, therefore, this witness also serves no purpose for the defence.

(w)Mr. B.R.D. Krishnamurthy DW3, states that he was looking after the personnel
matters of the UCIL. He is simply a Post Graduate (MA Personnel Management & Labour Welfare) Hence,he is not supposed to be an expert of Chemicals Engineering. He did not uttered even a single word about the design of the Plant.

(x)The other witnesses, Shri D.K. Unnikrishnan DW4 referred Exh. D26 & D27
in his statement, which is simply a Certificate received by the National Safety Council set up by Government of India. However, in cross examination he says that he has never gone through a report about the safety measures and design of the Plant, therefore, Report Exh. D26 & D27 can not be considered as a Certificate of Design and Safety.

(y)Other important witness is Mr. N.C. Agnihotri, he stated that he served UCIL
Bhopal from 1977 to September, 1989 in different capacities. He had his B.Sc. Honours in Chemical Eng. from Bombay University and also obtained a special training of 3 months with some other UCIL employees in the Plant situated in South Charleston, West Verginia, USA. In para 3 he states that the Plant at Bhopal was designed in the same pattern as that of the Verginia UCC USA. In 1980s an
American, Mr. Warren Woomer came to India and remained here for two years in the capacity of General Works Manager. In Para 4 he further says that the Plant, which is situated in USA is
25
comparatively large twice to the capacity of UCIL Bhopal. The Storage Tanks in Verginia Plant were double in capacity.

(z)It is worthwhile to mention here that the Government of India and the Team of
Scientists admittedly was never permitted to visit the Plant at Verginia, USA. No brochure, or any other documentary evidence demonstrating the similarity between the two plants at Verginia and Bhopal has been produced before the court by the defence. So the statement of this witness regarding the similarity in design of two plants can not be treated as bare truth. Under Section 106 of Indian Evidence Act the facts within the specific knowledge of the party onus to prove the same shifted on the shoulders of that party. The same has not been discharged.

(aa)He being expert of this field doesn't say that in the other parts of the world at
the relevant point of time there were plants manufacturing pesticides by using less hazardous chemicals i.e.dimethyle urea,diphenylecarbonate. He is also silent that one crucial type of equipment was missing in the Bhopal plant was gas detector,capable of sensing and locating the toxic leaks.

While in Bhopal the workers were used to sense the leak of gases by smelling .He kept mum that at the relevant point of time the plant at Antwerp,Belgium,and Dormagen ,West Germany MIC is manufactured and processed directly with little storage.

(ab)As far as the statements of Rajeev Kapoor PW53, T.R. Chauhan PW62, Dr.
Arshad Ali PW159, Subimal Bose PW161, K. Parikh PW164, Rajgopal PW170 are concerned, they only state that the whole technology of the UCIL Plant was imported from UCC USA, but, they say nothing whether the technology was foolproof or the same as implanted in the Plant of UCC in West Verginia.

(ac)Therefore, the arguments advanced by the learned Counsel that the UCC was
well known Company and world leader in the production of MIC based pesticides and the entire

26
design was that of UCC under the Design Transfer Agreement. The same was transferred to UCIL Bhopal. The entire plant of Bhopal was set up by the UCC personnels under control and supervision and start up procedure was done by one Mr. Warren Woomer, who is the specialist in MIC and a Chemical Engineer of UCC USA and was in Bhopal till December, 1982 can not be considered that it was designed on the similar pattern as that of the USA and the other plants of the world.

(ad)The learned Counsel, Mr. Amit Desai, has argued that the report which has
been given by the team of experts after the incident and not before the incident, therefore, the knowledge that may have been acquired post a particular incident or event does not necessarily mean that the equipment up to that point of time was defective. He quoted an example of a new model Car. There may be a new safety devices that might have been invented, which were not available in the old
model cars, this would not render the old model cars as defective cars.

ae)He further argued that defects would necessarily have to be with reference to
the knowledge of the necessary technology available at the relevant point of time. When the Plant was set up at Bhopal, there was no on line analyzer for determining the quality of MIC before it entered into the Storage Tanks coupled with an alarm system. This argument is not acceptable as the safety manuals of the UCIL itself reveals such type of devices attached to the concerning equipments in the Plant as the pressure guage temperature meter was not responding at the time of incident.
Therefore, the comparison of a Car and a factory running with a hazardous gas like MIC, Phosgen, Chloroform, Carbon monoxide is farfetched one and holds no water. Therefore the report of the team of Scientists (Exh. P575, P805, P807), can not be thrown out and discarded. They are the abstract of the study of the expert Scientists and not only fact finding reports.

af) Section 106 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 is very clear that the facts which is
specifically within the knowledge of any person, the burden to prove them upon him. The burden of

27
proving a plea specifically set up by an accused, which may absolve him from criminal liabilities, certainly lies on him, but, the question of evidence by which he may succeed in discharging his burden is lower than the burden resting upon the prosecution establish a guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Sawal Das Vs State of Bihar, AIR 1974 SC 778 , Indore Municipal Corpn. Vs Caltrex (I) Ltd., 1991 AIR SCW 250, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has specifically observed that the
facts which are within the special knowledge of the party.

35 The burden lies on him to prove them. In the present case it is reiteratively said that the employees of the company are trained in the institution at Verginia, USA and the design of the Plant was similar to that of the Plant at Verginia. It appears appropriate to note that the visit of Verginia was never permitted. So the design of the Plant at Verginia could not be studied by the CBI. This specific
fact is well within the knowledge of UCIL and the Management. However, no evidence regarding the design has been given by the Company. In this context a case of Shahgurmanmal Vs State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1980 SC 790 and Shambhu Nath Mehra Vs. State of Ajmer, AIR 1956 SC 404, are very much relevant in the facts and circumstances of the present case.

36 As far as the training is concerned the fact is found proved that only 25 persons were sent to Charleston for training and how long they served in UCIL, is uncertain.
Therefore, there was lack of training also.

37 The following major design defects brought to the notice of the Court:·
The use of hazardous chemicals (MIC) instead of less dangerous ones. MIC can be manufactured without using the dangerous Phosgene (COCl2) and Chlorene (Cl2)· Bulk Storing of MIC in large tanks instead of small stainless steel drums or processing the MIC as it was produced without storage. Union Carbide Publications acknowledge that the bulk storage of MIC heightens the danger of

28
both leakage and contamination.
· Possible corroding material in pipelines and in valves i.e. Iron , Copper.
Zinc,and tin
· No on line analyzer or alarm system was provided to continuous monitoring of
the quality of the MIC before it stored in the tanks. Off grade MIC can mix with
previously stored MIC,introducing large scale contamination and great danger.
· The refrigeration system was inadequate and no standby system was
available.
· The VGS was not design to the emergency situation

38 The problem was made worse by the plant's location near a densely populated area,
nonexistent catastrophe plans and shortcomings in health care and socioeconomic
rehabilitation. Analysis shows that the parties responsible for the magnitude of the disaster are the two owners, Union Carbide Corporation and the Government of India, and to some extent, the Government of Madhya Pradesh ,only invitation to certain doctors and other high officials was not enough.

(A)OPERATIONAL
& MAINTENANCE FAILURE :(a)NATURE
AND PROPERTIES OF METHYL ISOCYANATE (MIC) GAS:The fact that the MIC is a highly reactive, toxic, volatile and inflammable chemical. It is an organic compound with the molecular formula C2H3NO (H3CN= C=O). In gaseous form MIC is heavier than air and has a tendency to settle down. In this form it is subject to wind dispersal.

39 Methyl isocyanate is usually manufactured from monomethylamine and phosgene.
These substances react at a range of temperatures, but for large scale production it is advantageous to combine these reactants at higher temperature in the gas phase. A mixture of methyl isocyanate and two moles of hydrogen chloride is formed, but Nmethylcarbamoyl chloride (MCC) forms as the mixture is condensed and leaves one mole of hydrogen chloride as a gas.

29
The methyl isocyanate is obtained by treating the MCC with a tertiary amine (e. g.: dimethylaniline, pyridine)or by separating it by using distillation techniques.
Methyl isocyanate is also manufactured from Nmethylformamide and air. In the latter process it is immediately consumed in a closed loop process to make methomyl. Other manufacturing methods have been reported.
(1) PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF METHYLENE ISOCYANATE :40 Methyl Isocyanate is a clear, colourless, lachrymatry, smelling liquid. It is highly inflammable boils at 39.1oC and has a low flash point. Methyl Isocyanate is soluble in water to 610 part per 100 parts, but, it reacts with Water. It also reacts with its own molicules.
Molecular Formula C2H3NO (H3CN= C=O).
Molecular Weight 57.05
Boiling Point at 760 mm Hg. 39.1oC
(102.4o F)
at 300 mm Hg. 16.7oC
(62.1o F)
at 10 mm Hg. 40oC
(40o F)
Vapour Pressure at 20oC 348
mm. Hg Soluble in Water about 6.7%
Practical Temperature 218oC
30

(2)CHEMICAL
PROPERTIES

41 Methyl isocyanate reacts with water to form 1,3dimethylurea and carbon dioxide with the evolution of heat (325 calories per gram of MIC that reacts).
At 25 °C, in excess water, one half of the MIC is consumed in 9 minutes;if the heat is not efficiently removed from the mixture the rate of the reaction will increase and rapidly cause the MIC to boil. If MIC is in excess, 1,3,5trimethylbiuret
is formed along with carbon dioxide.

Compounds that contain hydrogen attached to nitrogen, such as ammonia or primary or secondary amines, will rapidly react with MIC to form substituted ureas. Other NH
compounds, such as amides and ureas, react much more slowly with MIC Alcohols and phenols, which contain an OH group, react slowly with MIC, but the reaction can be
catalyzed by trialkylamines or dialkyltin dicarboxylate. Oximes, hydroxylamines, and enols also react with MIC to form methylcarbamates. When treated with catalysts, MIC reacts with itself to form a solid trimer, trimethyl isocyanurate, or a higher molecular weight polymer.

31
Sodium methoxide, triethyl phosphine, ferric chloride, and certain other metal compounds catalyze the formation of the MICtrimer, while the higher molecular weight polymer formation is catalyzed by certain trialkylamines. Since the formation of the MIC trimer is exothermic (298 calories per gram of MIC), the reaction can lead to violent boiling of the MIC. The high molecular weight polymer hydrolyzes in hot water to form the trimethyl isocyanurate. Since catalytic metal salts can be formed
from impurities in commercial grade MIC and steel, this product must not be stored in steel drums or tanks.Oximes, hydroxylamines, and enols also react with MIC to form methyl carbamates. When treated with catalysts, MIC reacts with itself to form a solid trimer, trimethyl isocyanurate, or a higher molecular weight polymer.
Sodium methoxide, triethyl phosphine, ferric chloride, and certain other metal compounds catalyze the formation of the MICtrimer, while the higher molecular weight polymer formation is catalyzed by certain trialkylamines. Since the formation of the MIC trimer is exothermic (298 calories per gram of MIC), the reaction can lead to violent boiling of the MIC. The high molecular weight polymer hydrolyzes in hot water to form the trimethyl isocyanurate. Since catalytic metal salts can be formed
from impurities in commercial grade MIC and steel, this product must not be stored in steel drums or tanks.

42 Sodium methoxide, triethyl phosphine, ferric chloride, and certain other metal
compounds catalyze the formation of the MICtrimer, while the higher molecular weight polymer formation is catalyzed by certain trialkylamines. Since the formation of the MIC trimer is exothermic

32
(298 calories per gram of MIC), the reaction can lead to violent boiling of the MIC. The high molecular weight polymer hydrolyzes in hot water to form the trimethyl isocyanurate. Since catalytic metal salts can be formed from impurities in commercial grade MIC and steel, this product must not be stored in steel drums or tanks.

43 Therefore, admittedly even MIC in itself can react under the influence of a cyatalyst to form a cyclic timer or a highly moluclar weight polymer. This may be catalysed by Sodium Hydroxide (NAOH). Sodium Mythoxide, Sodium Acitate, Ferric Chloride and Stanic Chloride since the reaction is exothermic, contamination of MIC with traces of the catalyst can cause violence reaction. (Ref. Exh. P576)

44 Manual Exh. P576 is undisputedly issued by UCC itself, 270 Park Avenue, New York,
N.Y. 10017. It was advised that how the Methyl Isocyanate be stored and handled, What should be the emergency procedure, etc. Even it is advised that the MIC ought be stored in small drums. This should be protected from direct exposure to the Sun, Rain and Snow. Drums should be used on a first in first out basis. MIC should be transferred from one drum to another by means of Nitrogen Pressure.

45 At page 7 the procedure for storage of MIC has been given. MIC should be stored in
underground tanks of Stainless Steel Type 304 and 316 for safety reasons. The size of the tanks should be kept twice to the volume required for storage. As an alternative an empty tank should be kept available at all the times. If the MIC tanks become contaminated or fails, transfer part or all the contents to the empty standby tank. The tank must be under the Nitrogen Pressure. It must be cleaned ability to withstand full vacuum. The tank must be provided with a Vent Line and in addition to that with an emergency Vent and the tank must be cooled by oils on the outside walls of the tank
33
alternatively Methyle Isocyanate (MIC) recirculated through a heat exchanger so that no Coolant can leak into the MIC and a Coolant must be selected that will not react with MIC or catalyze the reaction.

The temperature of the MIC must be maintained below 15oC (about 60oF) and preferably at about 0oC (32oF). The storage tank must be equipped with dual temperature indicators that will sound an alarm and flash warning lights when the temperature of stored material arises abnormally. Iron, Copper, Tin and Zinc must be excluded from contact with MIC, as they are catalyst and may result in a dangerously rapid trimarization. It is clearly mentioned at page 9 that although the drums are typically stored at ambient temperature, however, bulk system must be maintained at low temperature so that the possibility of violent reaction can be eliminated.
(B) STORAGE FAILURE :46 MIC was stored in accordance with the Operation Safety Manuals as stated by PW62 T.R. Chouhan and Gourishanker PW88 were posted in MIC Plant at that time. They state in different paragraphs that there werea safety manuals Exh. P912,. P913. According to these manuals a storage tank can be used upto 60% of its capacity. However they admit in cross examination that in the year 1983-84
which was increased up to the capacity of 80%, but, no such manual, which permits
that the MIC can be stored up to the capacity of 80% of the storage tank, available to support the averment. On the contrary Mr. V. Gaurishanker PW88 referring a document “Do not exceed Tank Level on 60%” (Exh. P2606). Therefore, bare admission of T.R. Chouhan PW62 in cross examination regarding the fact that the storage of MIC in storage tanks up to the capacity of 80% was technically possible can not be treated as a proven fact. TR Chouhan also proved a number of entries, which had been made in Exh. P91247.

The witness is an expert of UCIL, as he has visited a number of times New York,

34
Washington, Boston, New Jersy, Philadalphia, Arbania. He also took part in the Round Table Conference after the incident, however, he said in Para 26 that he received some information regarding the Verginia Plant where MIC is being manufactured. However, he never had been there. In Para 27 he further says that there are a number of differences between these two plants. As the accused persons are utterly failed to bring the technology used in the Virgenia plant of MIC in the notice of the court . Therefore, the argument advanced by the learned Counsel of the accused persons can not be admitted as a substantial evidence.

48 Other witnesses, who are known to be the experts in this field,Dr. M. Sriram PW48
and Dr. R.M. Mashelkar PW49, in his combined opinion in Exh. P575, 807 & 808. Dr. S.
Varadarajan PW57, in Para 2 says that storage in large quantity of MIC was quite dangerous. There was no method of finding out what was inside the large storage tank of MIC, as they were buried under the concrete. Mohan Lal Verma PW60 states about the operation of the MIC Plant. He says in Para 2 that earlier eight operators were operating the Plant, however, at the relevant point of time when the incident took place, number of operators was decreased upto 6 from January, 1983.

49 Because of these properties the MIC is usually advised to be stored and handled in
Stainless Steel of 304 & 316 of quality equipments. Iron or Steel Aluminiums, Zinc or Galvanized Iron, Tin, Copper or their alloys are prohibited from coming into contact as they works as catalyst and lead to a dangerous and rapid trimarization of MIC that evolved heat and can result in a explosive violence.

50 Therefore, admittedly even MIC in itself can react under the influence of a catalyst to form a cyclic timer or a highly molecular weight polymer. This may be catalyzed by Sodium Hydroxide (NAOH). Sodium Myth oxide, Sodium Acetate, Ferric Chloride and Stannic Chloride since the reaction is exothermic, contamination of MIC with traces of the catalyst can cause violence reaction. (Ref. Exh. P576)

35

51 Manual Exh. P576 is undisputedly issued by UCC, 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y.
10017, itself . It was advised that how the Methyl Isocyanate be stored and handled, What should be the emergency procedure, etc. Even it is advised that the MIC ought be stored in small drums. This should be protected from direct exposure to the Sun, Rain and Snow. Drums should be used on a first in first out basis. MIC should be transferred from one drum to another by means of Nitrogen Pressure.

52 At page 7 the procedure for storage of MIC has been given. MIC should be stored in
underground tanks of Stainless Steel Type 304 and 316 for safety reasons. The size of the tanks should be kept twice to the volume required for storage. As an alternative an empty tank should be kept available at all the times. If the MIC tanks become contaminated or fails, transfer part or all the contents to the empty standby tank. The tank must be under the Nitrogen Pressure. It must be cleaned ability to withstand full vacuum. The tank must be provided with a Vent Line and in addition to that with an emergency Vent and the tank must be cooled by coils on the outside walls of the tank alternatively Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) recirculated through a heat exchanger so that no Coolant can leak into the MIC and a Coolant must be selected that will not react with MIC or catalyze the reaction.

The temperature of the MIC must be maintained below 15oC (about 60oF) and preferably at about 0oC (32oF). The storage tank must be equipped with dual temperature indicators that will sound an alarm and flash warning lights when the temperature of store material arises abnormally. Iron, Copper, Tin and Zinc must be excluded from contact with MIC, as they are catalyst and may result in a dangerously rapid trimarization. It is clearly mentioned at Page 9 that although the drums are typically stored at ambient temperature, however, bulk system must be maintained at low temperature so that the possibility of violent reaction can be eliminated.

53 Among the other experts Dr. Sivaram PW127, Dr. A.K. Lahiri PW128, Dr. A.K.

36
Mazumdar PW139, Dr. CSP Iyyer PW158, Dr. Arshad Ali Khan PW159 also corroborated the
theory. One more fact has come in the notice of the court that the required pressure was built in the tank with the help of a copper tube (P.I. Bladder)A.Venu Gopal ( PW 83 ) for the transfer of MIC from one tank to another while the use of Copper etc. was quite dangerous,as they may take part in the chemical reaction as a catalyst. So the fact is found proved that the storage of MIC in such a huge quantity specially when all the safety systems were either out of order or shut down for this or that
reason was like lighting the fuse forty ton dirty bomb. Hence it is found to be proved that the company and the management with the accused persons overlooked the safety measures regarding the storage of MIC in the tank.
(C) REFRIGERATION SYSTEM :54 The
factory was provided with a Refrgeration System (30 TR) to maintain the
temperature of MIC in the tank that is called 30 TR. On the date of incident, admittedly, it was not working. On the contrary it is said that it was not required to maintain the temperature of MIC While (Operation Manual Exh. P2587) (1984) suggest maximum 15oC preferably 0oC as stated by A. Venu Gopal (Production Sup. UCIL ) PW 83. The learned defence Counsel has drawn attention of the Court towards Ex.D34
and submitted that the Commercial MIC can be stored at ambient temperature. In February, 1979 Shri A.K. Tauri under the supervision of E.A. Borous prepared a report
Exh. P.2644, Tauri Report. At page 2 it is categorically mentioned that the Commercial MIC could be stored at ambient temperature. Possibility of polymerization is nil as MIC is stored in the Tank with small percentage of Phosegen. However, there is no Manual Published by the UCC and UCIL following the Touri report.

55 The team of the experts has given their report, according to which the temperature

37
ought to be maintained at the above mentioned level not beyond that, as at the high temperature the MIC starts Trimarization & Polymarization. Defence witness, Vinod Kr. Behl, who was the then Safety Manager and is a Chemical Engineer, in Para 24 speaks clearly that the MIC must be stored at a temperature not more than 15oC preferably 0oC. For this very purpose the 30 TR Chiller System was installed and also admits that it was closed down long before the incident.

56 Mr. Naresh Chand Agnihotri DW5 is another important defence witness of this fact
that whether the 30 TR System was required or not ? Whether the storage of MIC at ambient temperature was safe? He speaks that he was posted in MIC Plant from 1977 to 1989 in different capacities and had been on special training for three months in USA. In Para 10 he says that there was a 30 TR System in the UCIL Plant to cool down the tank, however it was used in the beginning, but later on it had not been in use. The directions for shut down was given by Production Manager, S.P. Choudhary and by Mr. Warren Woomer, over all incharge of the plant at the relevant point of time.

57 In Para 15 of the Cross-examination, the witness first admits that he had gone through the Safety Manual of UCC USA, however, he ignores the fact that MIC is to be stored at 0oC. In Para 16 he further admits that neither Mr. Ballal, Production Manager nor anybody gave him written directions to shut down the Chiller System. In Para 6 Mr. Raghuraman DW8 says that when he joined the UCIL in 1980, the Refrigeration System was not operative for cooling the stored MIC in tanks. The use of Refrigeration Plant was confined only for transferring the MIC to charges the spot
in Sevin Unit or for drumming. He says that this decision was taken by Mr. Warren Woomer. He referred in his statement document Exh. D37 to D46.

In Cross-examination in Para 13 by the Court itself a specific question has been asked regarding the utilization of Refrigeration Unit. His answer was, as it was initially thought that the MIC can be stored at 0oC temperature, later on he came to

38
know from his superior Officer, Mr. K.D. Ballal that MIC can be stored at ambient temperature. A. Venu Gopal, Prosecution Witness83 in Chief Examination stated that the Refrigeration System is still in working in the West Virginia Plant in USA and never been ordered to be shut down. Now the question arises that the temperature in Virginia is very low in comparesion to Bhopal, despite that a refrigeration system exists there. While in Bhopal it has been shut down over looking the safety
manuals. Therefore, without any document, the oral statement made by the defence witnesses that the MIC can be stored at the ambient temperature is not acceptable,, There was no direction from the UCC or from els where that the said Plant be shut down. The accused persons, namely Kishore Kamdar, J. Mukund, R.B. Roy Choudhary, S.P. Choudhary, K.V. Shetty, S.I. Qureshi, those who were looking after the plant for years together, being the Chemical Engineers, are found to be quite negligent after having knowledge that the MIC is highly inflammable reactive on high temperature and can not be stored at a temperature of 39oC ,behaved with gross negligence.

58 Hence, this argument that the Plant was running without a Refrigeration System for 23 years and no untoward incident took place, can not be presumed that the Plant was running safely or this argument that even if the Refrigeration System would have been in operation, it would not have stopped the escape of hazardous gases into the atmosphere and hence it is not a direct and proximity cause of the accident in the present case, can not be accepted (D)` VENT GAS SCRUBBER (VGS)

59 Another safety measure was installed in the Bhopal Plant vent gas scrubber.(VGS)
It was designed to neutralize the off specification MIC liquid from the tank, the gases from RVVH, PVH, etc. The said system was not capable of handling the huge escape of gases on the intervening of 2nd 3rd December, 1984. It was just designed to neutralize the maximum of 7500 pound of MIC

39
@21200 pound/hr. It consist of a 5'.6” diameter scrubber supported on a 21000 gallon accumulator. A solution of 10% free caustic circulated at 1200 gpm. It is critically mentioned int he document Ex.D34 that the gases in case pressure in the safety valve exceed about 12 psig, the seal provideed by E 410 A will break. Then the gases bubbling through the caustic will have a partial chance of getting absorbed prior to dispersion into atmosphere via the line V4038”# 183.

60 According to the statements of TR Chouhan PW62 ,Ajay Pradhan PW29 is a worker
of UCIL, Bhopal in the capacity of Plant Operato(Document referred( Ex.P63 and Ex.P64. ,Ex.P912 ) and it is very unfortunate that it was also not in working order on the date of incident,the 2nd 3rd December 1984.

61 The fact well within the notice of Mr. S.I. Qureshi, Gaurishanker, Rajeev Kapoor, S.P. Choudhary, Venu Gopal, and R.V.Choudhary were also there in the capacities of
Supervisor/Production Asst. / Production Manager/Asst. Works Manager.

62 Ajay Pradhan PW29 in para 5 he further says that at the relevant point of time MIC
Plant was in operation. Supply of MIC to the Sevin Plant was in continuation. He himself supplied MIC from Tank No.611 to the Sevin Plant. He very clearly speaks that neither the Refrigeration Plant nor the VGS and Flare Tower were in working
order.

63 Rajeev Kapoor PW53 is also a trained person. He is a Chemical Engineer and worked with UCIL from 1979 to 1987. At that time Mr. R.B. Rai Choudhary was Asst. Work Manager. He was over all Incharge of the Plant Mr. Vijay Gokhale was MD of UCIL, Kishore Kamdar was Vice President, Mr. J. Mukund was Incharge of the Plant A.D. and Mr. Keshub Mahindra was the Chairman. S.P. Choudhar was Production Manager, K.V. Shetty was Shift Superintendent, S.I. Qureshi was Production Asst. He has produced Log Books Exh. P809 to P812, Exh. P861 to P866.

The entries thereof shows that he was present on the relevant point of time. These entries have

40
been made from 1.11.1984 onwards.

64 In Para 15 he further says that on 2.12.1984 Flare Tower, 30 TR and VGS were not
working. Though he said it was in operational condition, but, it was kept shut down. No explanation is there on the part of accused persons why it was kept shut down / inoperational.

65 Suman Dey PW56 also says in Para 4 that VGS was not in working order though the
Plant was fully automatic. But he made his statement in uncertainity in Para 5. He rectified his mistake and said that he made an effort to start the VGS, but, for no purpose.

66 A Venu Gopal PW83 was working in the year 1984 in the MIC Plant of UCIL Bhopal in
the capacity of Production Superintendent and had a training in 1979 in UCC Charleston West Verginia USA for three months, in Para 4 says that in February, 1984 it was decided that 30 TR is no more required. He has produced Master Card from dated 25.11.1984 to 3.12.1984 Exh. P2586.

According to that Flare Vent Header was under maintenance, and therefore, out of order. He also produced Master Card Exh. P2589. According to that from 31.10.1984 the VGS was under maintenance and it was completed on 25.12.1984. So it appears that the Plant was in operation without a VGS.

67 Gaurishanker PW88 was also working in the Plant at UCIL Bhopal in the capacity of
Production Asstt. He is also a Mechanical Engineer. On the date of incident he was in MIC Unit with Mr. A. Venu Gopal, S.P. Choudhary, RB Rai Choudhary, K.V. Shetty and Mr. S.I. Qureshi. In Para 10 he says that the VGS was not in operation. Tejeshwar PW91 in Para 12 has also supported that the VGS was not in working condition. He referred in his statement Master Card Exh. P2583 and a note
Exh. P811 at Page 16. On the basis of the statement made to the Police u/s 161 Exh. D3 that the maintenance of VGS was complete by 25.11.1984. Mere completion of the repairing is not enough. Ex.34 page 90 in itself reveals the importance of this instrument.

41
68 Therefore, the fact is proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Vent Gas Scrubber was
not operational on the date of incident and the accused persons who were responsible for all the safety measures, were negligent about this fact.
(E) FLARE TOWER :

69 It is a disposal system of vent gases including MIC, Carbon monoxide (CO) or other
gases. According to report Exh. P575 it is said that the Flare Tower was not adequate to handle the situation like 2nd-3rd December, 1984. It was not operational on the date of incident as said earlier by the witnesses afore mentioned. So this was a lapse on the part of the accused persons. Merely saying that it was a design defect as the Flare Tower was in adequate in handling the situation, they
were helpless, is not sufficient to avoid their negligence. As they were well educated,qualified Engineers from reputed institutes like IIT. So it can not be expected from them that they were unaware of the knowhow of the Flare Tower or the other Systems.
(F)NITROGEN
PRESSURE :

70 It was the condition precedent for the storage of MIC in the storage tanks that it should be stored under pure Nitrogen Pressure of 1 Kg/Cm.Sq. On the date of incident, according to Dr. Sriram PW48, the Nitrogen Pressure was 0.25 Kg./Cm2.( Document referred Exh. P576). Apart from this the different safety manuals of MIC reveals that the Nitrogen Blanket is important for the MIC Storage Tank.

71 It is argued by the learned Counsel of the defence that very slight Nitrogen Pressure was required to store the MIC, the requirement was only to transfer the MIC from one tank to another.

It was not intended to prevent the entry of any contaminant/water in the Storage Tanks. It is further argued by the learned counsel Sri D.Prasad that it was a design defect. Mr. Agnihotri D.W. 5 Stated
42
that it was provided by the UCC that slight Nitrogen Pressure is required for the storage of MIC. He referred a document D34 in his statement. However it could not be explained that why slight nitrogen pressure was required . Therefore ,the reasons given by the witnesses and the established principal of science regarding the pressure can be considered.

72In
para 6 Dr. Sriram PW48
made it clear that till 21st October, 1984 the pressure in the
Tank 610 was maintained at 1.25 Kgm./cm.sq.g. However, the night shift of 2122
October, the
pressure of nitrogen fell down to 0.25 Kgm./cm.sq.g. Therefore the Tank No.610 was continued to be
under pressure from 22.10.84 to 21.11.84. The pressure in the Tank 610 as nearly as atmospheric
pressure on the intervening night. Therefore,the possibility of entry of water into the Tank 610 can not
be ruled out. As it is a principle of Physics that liquid goes from high pressure to low pressure.
73Mr.
J. Mukund in his examination u/s 313 Cr.P.C. states that the nitrogen pressure was
only for transferring the gas from one tank to another. The learned Counsel has argued that nitrogen
pressure only in use as a blanket above the MIC storage tank so that the atmospheric impurities could
be kept out.
74Dr.
Sriram, PW48
in Para 6, as mentioned above, referring brochure (Ex. P576)
stated that the nitrogen pressure was a necessity to keep out the contaminants from entering into the
Tank. Again Shri D. Prasad, learned defence Counsel, argued that the said brochure (Ex. P576)
is
not meant for manufacturers, it is only for retailers. Therefore, it can not be accepted as a manual for
manufacturing process.
75The
brochure is meant only for handling the MIC. The detailed procedure has been
given in the brochure regarding the Storage Tanks, Nitrogen Pressure, VGS, Flare Tower, etc.
Therefore, its use can not be restricted only for the retailers. It is further said by Shri Agnihotri DW5
that in the tank slight nitrogen pressure was required to be maintained. He referred a document Exh.
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
43
D34,
Design Report , to support his contention. The document is quite silent regarding the fact that
what role has to play the Nitrogen pressure . Shri Agnihotri DW5
himself no where explain the
necessity of nitrogen pressure. Therefore,the report Ex.D34
does not appears to be fruitful to the
defence regarding the nitrogen pressure.
76Dr.
Smasher, PW49,
another expert of the field states that the high pressure of water
then the nitrogen, the water would enter the tank. As it is an established theory that the liquid flows
from the Higher Pressure to Lower Pressure and therefore, if the tank is kept under positive pressure,
the liquid would not have entered. At the relevant point of time the tank was under pressure (0.25
Kgm./cm.sq.g.). Therefore, the water can very well enter into the tank, if was supplied at a pressure
large enough to overcome the friction in the pipelines, valves and the fittings. If it is not sufficient to
overcome this friction, then it would not.
77A
prudent man can easily understand that if a tank contains 60% 70%
of liquid inside.
The pressure naturally will be on the walls and at the bottom according to the quantity of the liquid
inside. From outside the tank, the entry of water is only possible if the pressure is on a higher side. In
the present case the same principle is applicable. Pascal's law states that when there is an increase
in pressure at any point in a confined fluid, there is an equal increase at every other point in the
container. A container, as shown below, contains a fluid. There is an increase in pressure as the
length of the column of liquid increases, due to the increased mass of the fluid above So the entry of
water was only possible when the pressure from the outside was on the higher side than the pressure
in the tank or the tank might be empty. So the contention of the defence regarding the slight pressure
of nitrogen. The theory is corroborated by other experts also.
(G) OPERATIAON SAFETY SURVEY REPORT :State
of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
44
78It
is argued by the Prosecution that the Plant was running with various defects. Before
this incident a team of experts headed by Mr. Poulson from UCC USA came to Bhopal after the death
of Ashraf, an employee of UCIL in 1982. The Report (Exh. P2585)
reveals that the Plant was running
negligently. On the contrary it is argued by the learned Defence Counsel that the Plant was running
safely with care and caution, such operation and survey itself shows that the Company was being run
professionally and it was constantly auditing its functioning and operation of the Plant and the
shortcomings, which were found by the experts were rectified by the Company and a Compliance
Report (Exh. D1
& D2)
was submitted to UCC.
79Umesh
Nanda PW87
in Para 6, 9 & 10 has stated that certain shortcomings were
noticed by the team and the same were never complied with.
The shortcomings are:1.
Major
2. Less Serious
1. Major
a)Lack
of reliable automatic backup for cooling water on the CO converter shells.
b)Possibilities
for air entry into the flare header at the CO unit.
c)Potentials
for release of toxic materials in the phosgene/MIC unit and storage
areas, either due to equipment failure, operating problems, or maintenance
problems.
d)Lack
of fixed water spray protection in several areas of the plant.
e)Possibilities
for dust explosions in the SEVIN area.
f)Potentials
for contamination, overpressure, or overfilling of the SEVIN MIC feed
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
45
tank.
g)Deficiencies
in safety valve and instrument maintenance programs.
h)Deficiencies
in Master Tag/Lockout procedure applications.
i)Possibilities
of nitrogen header contamination.
j)Problems
created by high personnel turnover at the plan, particularly in
operations.
The Reports (Exh. P2585)
opening summery states79AThe
team was very favorably impressed with the number and quality of operating and
maintenance procedure that had been developed and implemented in the past 12
years. These
procedures together with the Safety Analysis detailed for most operations ,constitute a major step for
all concerned. Umesh Nanda (PW87)
in para 6, 910
states that the shortcomings noticed by the
team were never complied with. On the contrary it is argued by learned Counsel that all the
shortcomings noticed by the OSS Team were rectified and the detailed report Exh. D1
& D2
were
forwarded to Mr. G.E. Merryman. Report Exh. D1
has forwarded to Mr. J.L. Paulson on October,
1982 by Mr. J. Mukund informing him that an action plan is preferred for the correction of deficiencies
noticed by the team, therefore, the report appears to be action plan only. Whether the shortcomings
were rectified according to the plan and whether they were veryfied by Mr. Paulson or somebody else,
is not proved.
80It
is argued that the said defects had been rectified by the UCIL and the reportEx.D1
&D2 were submitted to UCC that the above mentioned defects are no more in existence. The onus
now shifted on the shoulders of the accused persons and they have utterly failed in establishing the
fact that the shortcomings noticed by the UCC were rectified well in time and the UCC team was
satisfied .Therefore, it cannot be relied upon that the defects were actually rectified. The learned
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
46
defence counsel in his submission has referred the court statements of TR Chouhan (PW62),Ram
Chandra(PW 72), S.Bose (161) and KK Parekh (PW164).However,nothing important found in the
statements of these witnesses.
(H)POSSIBLE
WATER ENTRY :81The
tanks storing MIC have to be ,for the reasons of safety , twice the volume of the
MIC to be stored. It was also advised by the UCC itself that an empty storage tank should also be
kept available in standby position at all the time for emergency transfer of MIC. MIC was also advised
to be stored in the storage tanks under the nitrogen pressure of the order of 1Kg/cm2g and a specific
temperature below 15°c and preferably 0°c was also required to be maintained. However in tank
no.610 the MIC was stored under nearly atmospheric pressure from 22.10.1984,therefore, free
passage was available for the entry of back flow of the solution from the VGS into the tank. According
to the report of the committee about 500 liters of water entered into the tank no.610 through
RVVH/PVH lines . The thermo well and temperature transmitting lines were out of order for quite
sometime and therefore, no temperature was being recorded .
82On
2nd of December 84 before 10.45 PM no deviation was noticed in the pressure of
the tank 610 . Soon thereafter in the night shift ,some operators noticed the leakage of water and
gases from the MIC structure and they informed the control room .The control room operator saw that
the pressure gone up in the tank 610,the factory staff tried to control the situation but they failed. The
storage and the transfer lines have to be free of any contaminants as even trace quantities of
contaminants are sufficient to initiate the reaction which could be a runaway reaction, rapid
trimarization. Induction period may vary from several hours to several days. The generation of heat
may cause explosive violence. In particular contaminated water reacts exothermically to produce heat
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
47
and CO2 . Consequently, the pressure in the tank rise rapidly if MIC is contaminated with water . The
reaction may begin slowly, specially if there is no agitation, but it will become violent. All these
properties of MIC show that despite all the safety precautions that could be taken storage of large
quantities of MIC in big tanks was fraught with considerable risk.
83Rishi
Kumar (PW20)
stated in his examination in chief that, he was on duty when the
incident took place. The plant was not in operation, on the intervening night at 12.30 o'clock he felt
the odour of gas and also tried to know where from it was coming and he informed that Control Room.
Control Room Operator saw that pressure had suddenly gone up in the tank 610 and found it was out
of range. Mohd. Saleem PW26
and Rahman PW34,
the two helpers were involved in the water
washing activity. Gaurishanker PW88
was supervising the same.
84Mohd.
Saleem Khan PW26
was employed in the Union Carbide since 1971 and in
1977 he was posted in MIC Plant. On the intervening night of 2nd 3rd
December, 1984 he was on
duty in the Second Shift. Mr. Rehman PW34
was also with him. He was an Operator. Mohd. Saleem
further states that he was doing some job and cleaning some valves through steam in the directions of
the Superior Officers. In para 4 of the Crossexamination
he further states that for half an hour he did
water washing from 8.00 p.m. and completed by 9.00 O'clock and thereafter he went to his home at
11.00 O'clock.
85Rehman
PW34,
who was an Operator and was supervising the water washing. Mohd.
Saleem Khan, PW26
in Para 4 clarified that he was assigned to clean 4 valves, though he could
clean only one, 3 valves remained uncleaned, he says that as it was the time for tea, therefore, he
could not clean the remaining 3 valves and leaving them uncleaned he went for tea to the Canteen.
86He
further says that he remained in Canteen from 9.00 O'clock to 11.00 O'clock, but,
nobody is there to explain that when Mohd. Saleem Khan was deputed to clean all the 4 valves and
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
48
was on duty till 11.00 O'clock, why he was sitting in the Canteen? It is the duty of the Plant
Superintendent, who was an Engineer to look after such an important task of water washing.
87Again
this witness states that nobody has instructed him to place a slip blind or to
check the isolation valve while the water washing was going on. A master card, which was placed
there to assign the duties to the workers and it was maintained by an Operator, no such card was
placed. Therefore, it can not be believed that being the senior supervising authorities, those who
were present in the Plant and were in the knowledge that if the entry of water takes place in any of the
storage tank or elsewhere, where the MIC is stored, the consequences may be hazardous. Hence the
fact found to be proved that they were negligent and were not looking after this important job even
after knowing the consequences. Just they have left the whole thing on a untrained helper, Mohd.
Saleem Khan or the Operator Rehman.
88Girija
Pandey PW28
also an ITI trained Fitter and was employed in the same Plant at
the relevant point of time. In Para 3 states that on the 2nd December, 1984 in the presence of J.
Mukund, the then Production Manager, Mr. Pillai and some other Officials of UCIL, he placed a slip
blind in the Phosgene Tank and thereafter he left for his dinner. A master card No.6 to 55 indicates
the name of this witness, but, who maintained this card is not clear. Therefore, the maintenance of
the so called Master Card for fixing the responsibility appears not to be maintained as per the rules of
the Company. In Para 5 Girija Pandey PW28
again says that the placing of valve was a dangerous
job because the water may enter in the reactor while placing it , as the pressure ( 10 PSI) was high in
he tank. therefore, the above defects amount to the negligent conduct of the accused persons.
89Abdul
Rehman PW34
is another witness of this sad story. He was an Operator and
simply Intermediate. He nowhere mentioned in his statement that he obtained any training for his
expertise in the field of MIC, therefore, he can not be treated an an expert and even then he was
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
49
employed for such important job. In Para 4 he averred that in the superintendence of R.B. Roy
Choudhary, S.B. Choudhary, J. Mukund, S.I. Qureshi, K.V. Shetty the maintenance work was going
on. On the night of incident he was on duty in Second Shift. Gourishanker PW88
as Supervisor. Mr.
Gourishanker informed him on telephone that “Phosgene flow off”. After the call by Mr. Gourishanker
he went to the Refriegration Plant where Mr. Gourishanker was sitting. Mr. Gourishanker instructed
him that try to find out from where the pipe can be attached for water washing.
90In
Para 17 he averred that till 11.00 O'clock in the night he was in the Plant and the
water washing was going on and the water was coming out from all the three bladder and no helper
was there doing any job. He then informed the Supervisor, Gourishanker. In Para 12 he further
states that in downstream line he found a blind placed there, while, in RVVH upstream line there was
no blind and he was cleaning he same line with pressure.
91Mr.
V. Gaurishanker PW88
states that he is a B.Tech Engineer from Madras
University and was employed thereafter in UCIL as Graduate Engineer. On the intervening night of
2nd 3rd
December, 1984. He was on duty in the Second Shift from 2.45 p.m. to 10.45 p.m. Document
referred Exh.P2604
and he handed over his charge at 10.45 p.m. to accused, Mr. Shakeel Qureshi.
Mr. Venu Gopal was also present.
92In
the Tank No.610 the pressure of nitrogen was 2 psig, that was below the normal and
he made an entry in the log book at Page 27 (Exh. P811)
and signed the same. In Para 14 he
averred that on 2nd December, 1984 as per the Production Log Book RVVH Line was cleaned with
water upto PSV Filter 126, 127 and 160 as per the directions of Mr. Venu Gopal. The water washing
was done by Mr. Saleem and Mr. Rehman. Before the water washing RVVH isolation valve was
closed and it was master carded. The fact is mentioned on Page 30 of Production Log Book (Exh. P811).
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
50
93In
Para 21 Mr. Gaurishanker states that the water washing was going on. He admits
94Now
the CSIR Report (Exh. P575)
is to be considered. The report reveals that
approximately 500 Kg. of water entered into Tank No.610 with some contaminants through
RVVH/PVH lines and led a run away reaction in the Tank 610. The report suggests that on the
intervening night while the Phosgene Filters and Branch Pipe Line was water washing, the water
could have entered the tank.
95It
is argued by the learned defense Counsel that the prosecution could not prove the
entry of water through the route suggested by the Scientists. As this is an incident of its own kind in
the whole world,and also pertinent to mention here that the UCC did not permit the Indian scientists to
inspect the UCC's institutional plant at Virginia as referred in the statement of Dr.M.Sriram (PW48)
in
para 13 of cross examination. Therefore, the comparison of the circumstances is not possible. It only
can be ascertained on the basis of scientific studies after the incident. Either they may be a
prosecution or by the accused persons.
96The
fact that the MIC escaped from UCIL Bhopal Plant on 2nd 3rd
December, 1984 is
an admitted fact. The water was found inside the Tank No.610. This fact has been proved by the
various reports. Now the question how the water got entered into the Tank. The only test is the
analysis of the residues of the of the Tank No.610. In Tank No.610 certain sodium or alkaline
contaminants have been found and these contaminants only can go to the Tank No.610 through water
and no other way is there they could enter.
97Report
(Exh. P575)
reveals that in the residue of the Tank 610 the Sodium was found.
It is an admitted fact that the alkaline water (caustic soda) was used to neutralize the vent gases
including MIC in the VGS. It is argued that if the sample is not taken properly the reports regarding
the presence of Sodium in the samples are highly doubtful.
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
51
98Dr.
M. Sriram PW48,
Chemical Engineer and expert of this field states in his Court
Statement that a team of experts headed by Dr. Varadarajan came to Bhopal and visited MIC unit a
number of times, took samples and studied the causes of MIC leakage and after a thorough study
Report Exh. P575
was submitted. Mr.Gaurishanker PW 88 states that during water washing, to stop
the further flow of water slip blinds were used according to the master card and he did not remember
whether Mr. Rehman and Mr. Saleem put the slip blinds while they were doing water washing. In
Para 22 he expressed his inability in answering the question that how much liters of water entered into
Tank No.610 and what was the way of its entry. So only inference can be drawn that water washing
in the plant was going on, but, on the basis of the statements made by the above mentioned
witnesses it is not certain that how the water could have entered the Tank No.610.
99The
entry of 500 kgs. (1100 lb) of water is analyzed on the basis of the quantity of the
MIC present in the Tank No.610. It was near about 42 tonnes of MIC in the tank 610. The basis for
this quantity, it is the analysis of the residues and the chemistry involved in the various products. The
sodium was found in the residues, which could not have come only from ordinary water. The water,
which comes from RVVH and RVH pipelines containing some sodium elements.
100Dr.
M. Sriram in Para 10 very elaborately stated that if the water entere the tank with
contaminants, as MIC is a highly reactive in the presence of contaminants, a violent reaction takes
place and that may result in a run away reactions. In para 11 he further states that this opinion was a
joint opinion of the scientific studies of the Plant given by the scientists after chemical analysis of the
material.
101Dr.
R.A. Mashelkar, PW49,
is also of the same view and he states in Para 5 that entry
of water alone in the absence of contaminant would not have resulted autothermal
and auto catalytic
runaway
reaction. 500 lts. of water would have resulted into reaction with 34
tonnes of MIC
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
52
generating CO2 building up pressure and breaking the rapture disc. He further states in para 5 the
very specific reasons why and where from the water could have entered in to the buried tank. 610.
The presence of corrosion products such as Iron trichloride ,which acts as strong catalyst ,for
trimarization dramatically changes the picture and a auto catalytic reaction leading to major MIC
leakage from the tank as was observed ,takes place.( Report Ex.P808
page 198).
He is of very firm
opinion that if there was a positive N2 pressure in the tank the water would not have entered into the
tank 610. In the answer of a question he again expressed his firm opinion that when the water
washing was being done with pressure the water entered the RVVH and the alkali solution from the
vent gas scrubber finds its way into the tank 610. He is of the firm opinion that it is a well known
engineering fact that the liquids flow from higher pressure to low pressure. Therefore, if the tank 610
were kept under positive Nitrogen pressure the water would not have entered into the tank. It is
corroborated by the scientists also.
101APascal's
law is very much relevant in the case at hand which states that when there is
an increase in pressure at any point in a confined fluid, there is an equal increase at every other point
in the container. A container, as shown below, contains a fluid. There is an increase in pressure as the
length of the column of liquid increases, due to the increased mass of the fluid above. For example, in
the figure below, P3 would be the highest value of the three pressure readings, because it has the
highest level of fluid above it.
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
53
If the above container had an increase in overall pressure, that same added pressure would affect
each of the gauges (and the liquid throughout) the same. For example P1, P2, P3 were originally 1, 3,
5 units of pressure, and 5 units of pressure were added to the system, the new readings would be 6,
8, and 10.
102Dr.
A.K. Lahiri PW128,
who visited the Bhopal Plant. In his presence the buried tank
No.610 was taken out. He was associated with the taking of samples of the tank. Two of the samples
that taken for chemical analysis and thereafter the observations of micro structure. The test were
carried out at HAL, Bangalore and he was personally involved in the examination and after the
scientific studies, consolidate Report Exh. P575
was prepared. According to the results of the
analysis, the temperature of the tank at the relevant point of time should be in the range of 200250oC
as mentioned at Page 56 of the report.
103Another
scientist, Mr. K.V. Mazumadar also corroborates the views of the earlier
scientists and he confirms the conclusion of the Report Exh. P575
given at Page 81. In crossexamination
Para 5 he states that he is working as Manager Instrumentation H.O.C.L., which
manufactures variety of chemicals. Some of them are dangerous like Benzine, Quolavin, Lathenol,
Sulphuric Acid, Nitric Acid, Hydrochloric Acid, Ammonia, etc. So the witness is very much expert of
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
54
the field. It is argued by the learned defense counsel that in large industries the hazardous chemicals
use to be stored in large quantities can not be accepted in the present case as there was a number of
design defects and maintenance fault have been proved.
104Dr.
C.S.P. Iyer PW158
also says in his statement that he was also a member of the
team of scientists and supports that the Report Exh. P575
was a result of studies. According to the
procedure given at Page 28 to 54 including the annexures giving details of the procedure.
105The
chemistry of the reactions based on the analysis of the residues in order to prove
the presence of some of the components left over in the tank. A series of laboratory experiments
conducted in details, which is given from Page 61 to 70. The possible causes of the event are
summarized at Page 75 to 81. The summary of the cause is based on the analysis of the residue of
the tank. It is corroborated by Dr. Arshad Ali Khan PW159,
who took the samples of the tank in the
presence of CBI Officers. The details of which have been given in Exh. P2899.
106Dr.
Arshad Ali Khan PW159
further states that apart from the tank residues, the
samples were taken from blind flange. Safety valve nozzle elbow was removed, process vent header,
thermo well nozzle and some other parts of the tank were removed and the core sample was taken in
four bottles. Blow down common valve of tank was scrapped to collect deposited solids and the
samples were taken. He further states that on 1314
February, 1985 in his presence and in the
presence of CBI Officers, certain operations of MIC Plant, the detail of which has been mentioned in
Exh. P2900
to Exh.P2905,
were conducted.
107He
further says that he made extensive studies of the engineering aspects, besides
study of the Plant and Machinery, at UCIL Bhopal and after all the studies, he is of the opinion that
there were several aspects, which were not as per the standard for the safety of the Plant and
Personnel. The design defects have been prescribed in the Report Exh. P575
at Page 71 to 81. He
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
55
further states that there was no stigma of questioning the purity of MIC before it is being transferred to
the other tank. There is no reason to disbelieve this witness, as he had personally examined the
residues of the tank and different other instruments scientifically.
108The
theory of water entry in the tank is also supported by the defense witness, Avinash
Balchandran Paralikar, DW6,
who took some samples of the residues of the tank E610
and get them
analyzed. He has given emphasis on the presence of sodium contaminants in the residue of Tank
610. Though he tried to establish a new fact, keeping aside the whole chemistry of MIC and its
reactions with water, sodium, etc. He averred that he was employed in UCIL from 1972 to 1987 as a
Senior Scientist. After the incident of 2nd 3rd
December, 1984 he was assigned to analyze the residue
samples taken out from the Tank 610. He received the first lot of samples between December, 1984
to March, 1985 and Second lot in 1986.
109The
samples taken out from the tank were shared by the CBI, CSIR, UCIL and UCC.
He further states that large quantity of water entered into the Tank 610 and with some of the
chemicals identified. The Tank 610 was weighed on a weigh bridge in the year 1986 basically to
estimate the quantity of residue left in the tank. A memorandum (Eh. D35)
of this fact was prepared.
110In
para 6 he further states that special precautions were taken to make sure that no
sodium level be introduced in the sampling procedure. The cleaning agent were acid and distilled
water rather than soft solution or tap water. The bottles used for testing the residue were made of
Pyrex glass bottles rather than soft glass bottles, as had been used by CSIR. The sample taken in
198485
shows the level of sodium between 50 to 100 ppm. The samples taken in 1986 were
analyzed in Mumbai FMCO. He himself took the samples to Mumbai. The result was, the sodium
level in the residue sample was around 10 ppm or less, which is comparatively very less than that of
the samples taken by CSIR team in 198485.
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
56
111In
crossexamination
Mr. Avinash Balchandran Paralikar DW6
stands no where, as
nobody asked him to take such samples. Why he did not assist the CSIR team. Therefore, the
testimony of this witness can not be relied upon.
112The
presence of various metallic constituents of Iron, Chromium, Nickle in addition to
Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium The findings of the Committee shows metallic impurities were also
present in the MIC, that indicates the possible corrosion of the material of construction of the tank,
pipelines, etc. Presence of concentration of Sodium indicates the possibility of caustic soda ingress
into the tank from the VGS through PVH/RVVH. If the nitrogen pressure would have been
maintained in the tank, no ingress of water with caustic soda or other contaminants wast possible.
113Now
the factor of running in loss of the company appears to be very relevant factor in
the above circumstances. Admittedly Bhopal Plant, as Mr. Kumaraswamy PW70,
Mr. K.
Ramachandran PW72,
Mr. Umesh Nanda PW87
and Mr. Kamal Krishna Parikh PW164
has stated
that documents, which were regarding the shifting of Bhopal Plant to Brazil (Exh. P1334
and Exh. P1335)
was sent to Mr. R. Natarajan. K. Ramachandran PW72
a Chartered Accountant based in
Calcutta, also states the plant was running in losses at relevant point of time. Exh.P1332,
which is
signed by Mr. Natarajan, coworker,
based in Hong kong also reveals the fact that the Bhopal Unit
was running in losses.
114Umesh
Nanda PW87
at the relevant point of time was Mechanical Engineer in UCIL.
He also verifies that the Plant was running in loss. Kamal Krishna Parikh PW162
in his statement
averred that the Plant was running in loss and because of that an economic drive was launched and it
was instructed that manpower be curtailed, if some pipeline get corroded, instead of changing it, it
was used to be got repaired by welding or otherwise.
115The
data of UCIL reveals that Bhopal Plant was implanted and had been granted
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
57
permission by the Government of India for manufacturing of 5000 tons of Sevin and Temic in a year,
while peak production was nearly about 50% of the capacity. The accounts of the UCIL also shows
that in the last 10 months from the incident it was running in loss of near about five crore rupees.
116Therefore,
the reason are very much clear that apart from the design defects the Plant
was not maintained according to the norms established by UCC itself. The Refrigeration Plant was
shut down long before the incident VGS and other alarming systems were out of order and the
accused persons were negligent toward this aspect. The Pipelines were chocked and corroded,
Valves were leaking and nobody was hardly caring about and because of this on the intervening night
of 2nd 3rd
December, 1984 the hazard of this Methyl Isocyanate had happened.
117It
is argued on behalf of Mr. Keshub Mahindra, the then Chairman of the UCIL, Bhopal
that Mr. Mahindra was not concerned with the day to day business of the Company and prosecution
could not prove even a single fact that Mr. Mahindra was reckless or negligent regarding the business
of the Company here in Bhopal. Even Mr. Mahindra had no knowledge about any of the
circumstances regarding the escape of MIC. The prosecution is merely relying upon the presumption
that by virtue of being the Chairman and Director of the Company, Mr. Keshub Mahindra is liable to be
convicted with the other coaccused
persons.
118This
is an admitted fact that Mr. Keshub Mahindra was the then Director and Nonexecutive
Chairman of UCIL. A number of witnesses viz. Mr. S. Kumaraswamy, Mr. P.
Ramachandran, Mr. Subimal Bone and Mr. Bhaskar Mittal have stated that Mr. Keshub Mahindra was
neither working in UCC nor working in UCIL, Bhopal. He only used to Chair the meeting of the Board
alongwith the other Directors of the Board. He was not concerned with the safety aspect of the
Company.
119It
is further argued by the learned defence Counsel, Mr. Amit Desai that there was a
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
58
team of highly professional people for running the Company on day to day basis. Except Mr. Keshub
Mahindra no other Director has been mentioned in the list of accused persons. The Company had a
whole time Managing Director/Deputy Director, therefore, Mr. Keshub Mahindra was not involved or
engaged in the day to day functions of the Company. There is no reason to select Mr. Keshub
Mahindra as an accused for his prosecution in the present case.
120In
the Annual Reports of the Company (Exh. P869
to P878)
Mr. Keshub
Mahindra has been designated as Chairman of the Company and return show that he was Nonexecutive
Director, though the fact is not disputed. Section 5
of the Companies Act defines an Officer
in default reads as under:“
For the purpose of any provision in this Act, which enacts that a Officer of the
Company, who is in default, shall be liable to any punishment or penalty, whether by way of
imprisonment, fine or otherwise, the expression “Officer who is in default” means all the following
Officers of the Company, namely:(
a) the managing director or managing directors;
(b) the wholetime
director or wholetime
directors;
(c) the manager;
(d) the secretary;
e) any person in accordance with whose directions or
instructions the Board of directors of the company is accustomed to
act;
(f) any person charged by the Board with the responsibility of
complying with that provisions;
Provided that the person so charged has given his consent in this
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
59
behalf to the Board;
(g) where any company does not have any of the officers
specified in clauses (a) to (c), any director or directors who may be
specified by the Board in this behalf or where no director is so
specified, all the directors
Provided that where the Board exercises any power under clause
(f) or clause (g), it shall, within thirty days of the exercise of such
powers, filed with the Registrar a return in the prescribed form.
121Thus,
the provisions of Section 5 of the Companies Act are not applicable in
the present case, as it is not a case of any offense punishable under the provisions of Companies Act,
1956.
122It
is further argued by the learned Counsel of the defence that Mr. Mahindra
was resident of Mumbai and his office premises was also different from that of the UCIL and because
of his high position in the business community he had been appointed the Chairman of the Company.
123Mr.
Keshub Mahindra Vijay Prabhaker Gokhle Kishore Kamdaar accused
persons, who were not personally present in the factory and was not directly involved in the affairs of
the Company regarding the operation and manufacturing of the Sevin and Temik.
124Section
35 of Indian Penal Code provides that whenever an act which is
criminal only by reason of its being done with a criminal knowledge or intention, is done by several
persons, each of such persons, who joined in the act with such knowledge or intention is liable for the
act in the same manner as if the act was done by him alone with that knowledge or intention.
125Section
35 of the Indian Penal Code provides that , there must be :State
of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
60
(i) an act which is criminal;
(ii) criminal knowledge or intention;
(iii) several persons
(iv) each person must join in the act with criminal knowledge;
126As
the present case, the accused have been charged with Section 35 read with
Section 304A,
336, 337, 338 IPC. Therefore, there is no question regarding the criminal intention or
mens rea ,in India under the Penal Code only knowledge is enough .
127The
learned counsel of the accused persons has drawn the attention of this
Court towards the law laid down by Hon'ble the Supreme Court in the case of Anda and others Vs.
Steel of Rajasthan , AIR 1966 SC 148 and also drawn the attention regarding the dictionary meaning
of the word “Knowledge”.
128In
P. Ramanath Iyer's Law Lexicon III Edition, the word “Knowledge” as been
defined as:“
Knowledge the
certain perception of truth, belief which amounts to or
results in moral certainty indubitable, apprehension., information, intelligence, implying truth, proof
and conviction, the act or state of knowing, clear perception of fact that which is or may be known
acquaintance with things ascertainable, specific information, settled belief, reasonable conviction;
anything with may be the subject of human instruction.
Conversely, there may be knowledge without intention, the consequences
being fore known as the inevitable concomitant of that which is desired, but, being itself an object of
repugnance, rather than desire, and therefore, not intended.
129The
learned Counsel of the defence further drawn the attention towards the
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
61
case of Jai Prakash Vs. State, JT 1991 (1) SC 228, in which the Hon'ble Apex Court has held that
knowledge signifies the state of mantle realization with bare state of conscious awareness of certain
facts in which human mind remains supine or inactive.
130In
the case of Emperor Vs Zamin (AIR 1932 Audh 28) the word knowledge
has been explained that it means :''
state of mind intended by a person with regards to existing fact which he has
himself observed or the existence of which has been communicated to him by persons whose
veracity he has no reason to doubt.”
131Shri
Amit Desai and Sri D. Prasad learned counsels for the defence further
argued that Section 35 of Indian Penal Code does not give rise to any presumptive liability. It requires
an act which is criminal and knowledge thereof. For this he relied upon the case of Anda & others
Vs Steel of Rajasthan (Supra) In para 9 it is observed that the word 'act' in all the clauses of S. 299
or S. 300 of the Penal Code, denotes not only a single act but also a series of acts taken as a single
act. When a number of persons participate in the commission of a criminal act the responsibility may
be individual, that is to say, that each person may be guilty of a different offence or all of them may be
liable for the total result produced. This depends on the intention and knowledge of the participants.
The subject is then covered by Ss. 34, 35 and 38 of the Code. The facts of this case also tells us that
all the accused persons were engaged in running of the factory without caring the necessary safety
measures or rather disregarding the possible consequences.
132The
learned counsel for the defence further drawn the attaintion of this court
towards the decision of hon'ble the Supreme Court of India in in the case of Jacob Mathew Vs State
of Punjab, AIR 2005 SC 3180 in para 14 and 15 it is observed by the ho'ble court that the moral
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
62
culpability of recklessness is not located in a desire to cause harm. It resides in the proximity of the
reckless state of mind to the state of mind present when there is an intention to cause harm. There is,
in other words, a disregard for the possible consequences. The consequences entailed in the risk may
not be wanted, and indeed the actor may hope that they do not occur, but this hope nevertheless fails
to inhibit the taking of the risk. Certain types of violation, called optimizing violations, may be
motivated by thrillseeking.
These are clearly reckless.
133In
order to hold the existence of criminal rashness or criminal negligence it shall
have to be found out that the rashness was of such a degree as to amount to taking a hazard knowing
that the hazard was of such a degree that injury was most likely imminent. The element of criminality
is introduced by the accused having run the risk of doing such an act with recklessness and
indifference to the consequences.
134Lord
Atkin in his speech in Andrews v. Director of Public Prosecutions,
[1937] AC 576, stated, "Simple lack of care such
as will constitute civil liability is not enough; for
purposes of the criminal law there are degrees of negligence; and a very high degree of negligence is
required to be proved before the felony is established." Thus, a clear distinction exists between
"simple lack of care" incurring civil liability and "very high degree of negligence" which is required in
criminal cases. Lord Porter said in his speech in the same case "
A higher degree of negligence has
always been demanded in order to establish a criminal offence than is sufficient to create civil liability.
(Charlesworth and Percy, ibid, Para 1.13)
135Shri
Amit Desai learned counsel for of the defence further states that Mr.
Mahindra in his examination u/s 313 Cr.P.C. has clearly stated that none of the matters were ever
placed before the Board of Directors. On the contrary the Board of Directors were advised about the
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
63
excellent safety records of the Company. This contention is not sustainable as running a factory with
a number of hazardous substances like Phosgene Chloriform & MIC is not comparable job as that of a
doctor as in the case of Jacob Mathew (supra). As has been explained in the case of Emperor Vs
Zamin (AIR 1932 Audh 28) the word knowledge means,''state of mind intended by a person with
regards to existing fact which he has himself observed or the existence of which has been
communicated to him by persons whose veracity he has no reason to doubt.”In the present case it is
reiterated that the factory was run in the best hand the IIT ans. Then the fact can not be discarded
that how the things are going on in the Bhopal plat would be well within the knowledge of the accused
persons .
136Now
the question arises, that what is the dictionary meaning of chairman and
nonexecutive
director It is argued by the learned Counsel of the defence referring a number of
prosecution witnesses have said that Mr. Keshub Mahindra, an excellent personality of the business
world, being so, he had been appointed as the Chairman of the Company. He is a Nonexecutive
Director of the Board of the Company along with some others. Here I would like to mention that there
is utter respect to a persons intelligence and his achievements in life. However, his role is confined to
a particular case.
137Nonexecutive
director – Means a Nonworking
director of a firm who is not an
executive director and, therefore, does not participate in the daytoday
management of the firm. He or
she is usually involved in planning and policy making, and is sometimes included to lend prestige to
the firm due to his or her standing in the community. Nonexecutive
directors are expected to monitor
and challenge the performance of the executive directors and the management, and to take a
determined stand in the interests of the firm and its stakeholders. They are generally held equally
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
64
liable as the executive directors under certain statutory requirements such as tax laws. Also called
external director, independent director, or outside director.
138chair∙
man (châr m n) means a person or a presiding officer of an assembly,
meeting ,committee,or Board having administrative control over the same.
139An
excellent business experienced person, how can be treated, as he could be
unaware about the happenings of the companies. A Chairman without any knowledge of the
company activities, how can preside over the meetings of the Shareholders and higher officials. How
can he inspires the others, having no knowledge of the activities going on in such a reputed company
like UCC, UCIL, etc. Meaning thereby leaving a Plant in the hands of less experienced engineers,
operators or helpers with such hazardious, toxious substances, is amounts to recklessness and high
degree of negligence towards the people, who were either directors or any other capacity, whatsoever
it was. It is clearly covers under Section 35 of the Indian Penal Code, which incorporates the word
'Knowledge' and knowledge means the personal knowledge or knowledge acquired through the
persons, whom the Chairman or the other persons, those who are accused in the present case can
not distrust as envisaged by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the Case of Emperor Vs Zamin (AIR 1932
Audh 28). No periodic checkup
was there. How the Plant was running, as it is noticed in the earlier
paragraphs of this judgment, it is found proved that the pipelines were corroded, chocked and valves
were leaking. It is pertinent to note here that V.N. Singh PW17,
an Operator at the relevant point of
time was working with Mr. S.I. Qureshi, informed Mr. Qureshi, says in his Court Statement that when
he said to Mr. Qureshi that 3 bleader are even at the time of incident and the accused, Mr. S.I.
Qureshi was saying that it is tea time, after enjoying the tea he will look into the problem. Meaning
thereby, there was no command as it is expected from a talented, highly qualified Board of Directors.
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
65
There was no fear or discipline in the local staff. So this is a case of management failure also.
140Admittedly,
Mr. Keshub Mahindra used to preside over the meetings of the
Board. It is not expected that a meeting of the Board can be held without the data of the Company.
What sort of technology had been imported? What were the safety measures of UCIL of which Mr.
Keshub Mahindra was the Chairman. It is impossible to rely upon that all these things were not in the
knowledge of Chairman. Merely oral admission in crossexamination
of Mr. S. Kumaraswamy PW70,
Mr. P. Ramachandran PW72,
Mr. O.P. Kochar PW106,
Mr. Subimal Bose PW161
and Bhaskar
Mittal PW171
can not be accepted as Mr. Keshub Mahindra was not responsible for none of the
business of the company affairs regarding the safety measures.
141The
safety manuals of the UCIL and apart from this the report of the UCC (Exh.
P2585)
and a team of excellent engineers, it can not be supposed that during the meetings of the
Board, the things of such importance would not have been discussed and the accused persons
remained un acquainted with the ground realities. if this contention is accepted as said even then the
accused persons can not be considered to be innocent as they know the hazards of the toxins used in
the factory. Therefore, the facts of this case are not similar as those of the cases of Anda & others
(supra) and the case of Jacob Mathew (Supra)
142The
other judgments cited by the learned defence Counsel are Ravindra
Narayan Vs ROC, Jaipur (1994) 81 Comp Cases 925. Smt. G. Vijaylakshmi and others Vs. SEBI
(2000) 100 Comp Cases 726 have no relevance to the fact of this case, as it is not a case of offenses
punishable under various provisions of Companies Act, 1956.
143It
is further argued that there is no principle like vicarious liability in the criminal
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
66
law. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in a series of cases has reaffirmed and settled the ratio regarding
the vicarious liability in respect of offences punishable under IPC. The learned Counsel has referred
the resent judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of R. Kalyani Vs. Janak C. Mehta,
2009 (A) SCC 516 . In this case it has been observed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court , that if there is
special provision in the statute to fasten the responsibilities on the accused persons, only then the
vicarious liabilities can be fasten and not otherwise. For the said purpose, a legal fiction is to be
created. Even under a special statute when the vicarious criminal liability is fastened on a person on
the premise that he was incharge
of the affairs of the Company and responsible to it, all the
ingredients laid down under the statute must be fulfilled. A legal fiction must be confined to the object
and purpose for which it has been created. In another case of Maqsood Syeed Vs. State of Gujarat
(2008) 5 SCC 668, the Hon'ble Apex Court has observed the same view expressing that without a
special provision of vicarious liability in the statute, a Managing Director can not be held responsible.
Similar view has been expressed in the cases of S.K. Alagh Vs State of U.P. and Others (2008) 142
Comp. Cases 228
144In
the case of Dobey and the Metropolitian Bank Vs. John Cory (1901) AC
477 the Court observed that the charge of negligence appears to rest on the assertion that Mr. Cory,
like the other Directors, without attend any details of business not brought before them by the General
Manager, or the Chairman, and the argument raises a serious question, as to the responsibility of all
the persons holding positions like that of Directors, how far they are called upon to distrust and
beyond their guard against the possibility of fraud being committed by the subordinates of every
degree. It is obvious if there is such a duty it must render anything like an intelligent devolution of
labour impossible. Was Mr. Cory to term himself into a auditor, a managing director, a chairman and
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
67
find out whether auditors, managing directors and chairman were all alike deceiving him? That the
letters of the auditors were kept from him is clear.
145Further
on Page 486 it is observed that “I can not think that it can be expected
of a director that he should be watching either the inferior officers of the bank or verifying the
calculations of the auditors himself. The business of life could not go on if people could not trust, who
are put into a position of trust for the expressed purpose of attending to details of management. If Mr.
Cory was deceived by his own officer and the theory of his being free from moral fraud assumes
under the circumstance that he was – there appears to be me to be no case against him at all.”
146In
Huckerby v. Elliott that facts were these: Miss Huckerby was a codirector
with one Frank Selwyn Lunn. They had together started a gaming club called Windmill Clubs Ltd.
Frank Lunn was a director of Windmill Club Ltd. And also the secretary. One John Beveridge was in
fact the manager. N offence under Section 305 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1952 being
committed, in as much as without a licence a gaming was arranged in the New Embassy Club, the
directors and the manager were prosecuted. Frank Lunn the director secretary and the manager John
Beveridge pleaded guilty and were convicted. Miss Huckerby, however, did not plead guilty of the
charge. The stipendiary Magistrate, however, convicted her by observing that to escape liability by
saying, “I have delegated all my duties to a servant” seems to make nonsense of the position of a
director. An appeal being preferred against that order of conviction Lord Parker C.J. did not agree
with the above observations and observed as under at Page 193194:
“........
I cannot think that in general at any rate it is the duty of each director of
a company to exercise some degree of control, to use the words in the oral judgment,
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
68
over what is going on, or there is no point in being a director; nor do I think it is right to
say that there is a duty to supervise the running of the company and in particular a
codirector
who is the secretary.
Counsel for the respondent concedes that these words ' attributable to any neglect on
the part of the directors' refer to the omission to do something which the director was
under a duty to do. It is unnecessary to go through the cases, which deal with what
different circumstances may or may not be the duty of a director, but I know of no
aluthority for the proposition that it is the duty of a director to, as it were, supervise his
codirectors
or to acquaint himself with all the details of the running of the company.
Indeed it has been said by Romer J. in (Re City Equitable Fire Insurance Co. Ltd.) 6,
1925 Ch. 407 that amongst other things it is perfectly proper for a director to leave
matters to another director or to an official of the company, and that he is under no
obloigation to test the accuracy of anything that he is told by such a person, or even
to make certain that he is complying with the law.”
147The
above observations have been made by the Hon'ble Bombay High Court in
the case of State of Maharashtra v. Shantilala K. Somaiya , while deciding a criminal revision
No.31/1975 on 24.6.1975. The facts of that case are, it was simply a transaction of a Generator Set
of Skoda Company and the case in hand does not relate to any such transaction. Similarly in
Huckerby v. Elliott the duty was assigned to the codirector
and was a gamming club that can be
lookafter by a person ,there was no storage of hazardous gases like Phosgene,MIC,Chloroform,
therefore, the degree of standere is high in the case in hand and the facts of the case are
distinguishable. The report of CSIR has noticed a number of design and maintenance failures.
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
69
According to the different manuals of UCIL itself reveal that the decision was taken by the Board of
Directors and the higher authorities of the Company and not by the suboridnate staff. To look after
the maintenance of the factory, though job the engineers locally employed, however, the control over
them is that of the Management. As the company was dealing with the manufacturing of pesticides
with the help of hazarduous substances. Everybody was well aware with the fact that in case of any
negligence, the incident as took place on 2nd3rd
December, 1984, may happen and for these reasons
the responsibility can not be shifted on the shoulders of the others. Therefore, the facts of the case in
hand are distinguishable.
148The
present case is not a case of fraud or a deceit of the subordinate officers of
the UCIL. It can not be supposed to be an act of God, if so then it may be assumed that the factory
was run by the Almighty God and whose mistake or negligence the hazard of toxious MIC had
happened in the city of Bhopal on the night of 2nd3rd
Dec.1984.
149The
learned Counsel of the defence further drawn the attention of this Court
towards the decision of Malaykumar Ganguly v. Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee and Others, 2009 SCC
221. The facts of this case in brief are that a patient was a child Psychologist and her husband was a
Doctor engaged in research of HIV/AIDS in USA. Both of them came to India in MarchApril
1988,
while staying in Kolkata the patient, Child Psychologist complaint of skin rash sometime in the third
week of April, 1998, for which both of them consulted to the Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee, who advised
them to rest, but, did not prescribe any medicine. However, on 7.5.1998 rash appeared more
aggressively, and therefore, the lady Child Psychologist were again taken to the Doctor for treatment.
This time Dr. Mukherjee prescribed injection of 80 mg., Depomedrol twice daily for next 3 days. On
assuming that it was a case of Vasculities, the condition of lady did not improve and ultimately she
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
70
was admitted to the Hospital (AMRI) on 11.5.1998 under the supervision of Dr. Mukherjee. On the
next day another doctor also came and found that the lady is suffering from Toxic Epidermal Necrosis
(TEN).
150Despite
the treatment of several doctors in the Hospital, the lady's condition
deteriorated and ultimately shifted to Bombay on 17.5.1998 by Air Ambulance. She improved for two
days, but, unfortunately on 28.5.1998 the lady got expired and a criminal case was filed by her
husband against the Doctors u/s 304A
IPC.
151The
criminal court found some of the doctors guilty of criminal negligence, but,
the High Court reversed the decision and matter came to the Hon'ble Supreme Court. The Hon'ble
Supreme Court was of the view that the patient was dead due to the negligence of some of the
doctors, treating the patient at the Hospital. In the instant case, negligent action has been noticed in
respect to more than one respondent. A cumulative incidence, therefore, has led to patient's death.
Doctrine of Cumulative Effect (Doctrine of Aggregation) is not available in criminal law.
152Standard
of proof as also culpability requirements u/s 304A
of the IPC stands
on altogether different footings. On comparison the provisions of IPC with thresholds under tort law or
Consumer Protection Act, a fundamental that attributes of care and negligence are not similar under
civil and criminal branches of medical negligence law, is borne out. An act which may constitute
negligence or even rashness under torts may not amount to the same under Section 304A
of IPC.
153In
is not necessary that what negligent conduct in civil law may be a negligence
in criminal law for an offence. There must always be an element of mens rea for an offence. The
degree of negligence should be much higher in criminal negligence than he degree for action in civil
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
71
law.
154Negligence
is a breach of duty may be caused by omission to do something,
which a reasonable man guided by those circumstances, which ordinarily regulate conduct of human
affairs would do, or doing something, which a prudent or reasonable man would not do. Negligence
means either subjectively a careless state of mind or objectively careless conducts. It is not an
absolute term, but is relative one, it is rather a comparative term. All these facts aught to be taken in
consideration while determining the negligence whether exist in a particular case. mens rea has no
place for an offence like 304A
,336,337 and 338 of IPC, the knowledge is enough to constitute the
offence.
155In
the present case the conduct of the directors and the engineers of the factory
, though every body can not be identified,found proved beyond reasonable doubt that they neglected
the deteriorations reported to them by the US Team and by the the local employees. The
maintenance was poor. Some important systems were found to be shut down for months together.
MIC was stored in huge quantity (42 tons), while the requirement for manufacturing of Temik and
Sevin was very less (34
tons). While the Plant was shut down for maintenance. This was an
omission on the part of the Management, the US team was also silent about some of the above facts.
A doctor's negligence and negligence of factory management is quite different, The degree of
negligence is much higher in the instant case, hence there is no comparison between these two
cases.
156It
is argued by the learned defence Counsel that the conviction can not be
solely based on the opinion of the experts, as in the present case.
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
72
157Though
a report has been submitted by the CSIR experts, otherwise also the
prosecution led a number of witnesses, who were working at the relevant point of time in the factory.
Their detailed statements, thoroughly explained in the foregoing paragraphs of this judgments.
Therefore,it is not required to reiterate them.
158Section
45 of the Evidence Act says when the Court has to form an opinion
upon a point of foreign law or of science or art, or as to identity of handwriting or finger impressions,
the opinion upon that points, persons specially skilled in such foreign law or of science or art, or as to
identity of handwriting or finger impressions, are relevant facts.
159In
the present case a team of expert engineers specially skilled in chemical
engineering working with reputed institutions in much higher capacities had inspected the Plant
personally and after analysing the residues and different divisions of Bhopal UCIL Plant, prepared
reports (Exh. P575,(
Exh.P807,
and (Exh P808)
and they have been duly proved in the Court by the
evidence of the experts, as mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs.
160The
attention has been invited by the learned counsel for the accused persons
to the decisions of the hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Kurban Hussein Mohammed Ali
Rangwalla v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1965 SC 1616, brief facts of the case are ,a factory was
licensed on certain conditions to manufacture paints. The manager and the working partner did not
have a license for manufacturing wet paints but nevertheless the factory manufactured them. Certain
burners were used for the purpose of melting rosin or bitumen by heating them in barrels and adding
turpentine thereto after the temperature cooled down to a certain degree. While this process was
going on froth overflowed out of the barrel and because of heat, varnish and turpentine which were
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
73
stored at a short distance caught fire and resulted in the death of seven persons working in the
factory. The question was whether the manager and the working partner of the firm which run the
factory was guilty under Ss. 304A
and 285 of the Indian Penal Code.
161It
was held that the mere fact that the burners were allowed to be used in the
same room in which varnish and turpentine were stored even though it might be a negligent act would
not be enough to make the appellant before this court responsible for the fire which broke out. The
cause of the fire, it was observed, was not merely the presence of burners in the room in which the
varnish and turpentine were stored though this circumstance was indirectly responsible for the fire
which broke out. The requirement of S. 304A
was the causing of death by doing any rash or negligent
act and this meant that the death must be the direct or proximate result of the rash or negligent act. It
was found that the direct or proximate cause of the fire which resulted in seven deaths was the act of
a laborer who acted in a hurry and who did not wait until the bitumen or rosin cooled down and thus it
was his negligence which was the direct and proximate cause of the fire breaking out. The appellant,
namely the manager and the working partner of the firm could not be held to have committed the
offence under S. 304A
of the Code.
162The
ratio of the above decision was applied in Suleman Rahiman Mulani v.
State of Maharashtra, AIR 1968 SC 829. In that case the question was whether the first appellant
who had only a learner's licence and was driving a jeep which knocked down the deceased had been
rightly convicted of an offence under S. 304A
of the IPC read with certain provisions of the Motor
Vehicles Act. On the material on the record the court found it impossible to discover under what
circumstances the accident had taken place. The court held that it was not known what was the
proximate cause of the accident and the possibility that it had been caused due to the fault of the
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
74
deceased could not be ruled out. The mere fact that the appellant in question held a learner's licence
did not establish that he did not know driving. His proficiency might furnish a defense which the
learner could not have but the absence of proficiency did not make him guilty. His conviction under S.
304A
was therefore set aside.
163The
facts of the present case are somewhat different and distinguishable from
those of the above two cases as will be clear from a close examination of the material evidence
relating to the substances which were being used in the manufacture of the fire works etc. in the
factory of the appellants. The factory was situated in close proximity to residential quarters. It became
therefore all the more incumbent on the appellants to have completely avoided the use of highly
sensitive compositions of the nature mentioned above.
164The
decision which is apposite to the present case is the Rustom Sherior
Irani v. State of Maharashtra, Criminal Appeal No.72 of 1965, D/341968
(SC). There the
chimney of a bakery had collapsed and 11 persons were killed and certain persons were injured. The
appellant had submitted no plan for the alteration of the chimney for the third time and had asked just
a mason to remove the iron pipe which had corroded and to bring the height of the chimney to 65 feet.
The mason had told him that while the work was being executed it was unnecessary to completely
keep the bakery closed except during the period the repair work was being done. After the chimney
fell down a number of officers visited the spot and inspected the bakery. The Chief Inspector of Boilers
was of the opinion that the cause of the collapse of the chimney was the explosion which occurred in it
because of the products of combustion and gases not being permitted to escape freely as a pipe of 6
inches diameter had been put instead of 12 inches diameter. It is unnecessary to refer to the detailed
discussion of the evidence. It was established that the construction of the new chimney had been
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
75
done without the advice of a properly qualified person. The argument raised was on the lines similar to
the one which had been advanced in (1965) 2 SCR 622 = (AIR 1965 SC 1616). It was maintained that
no negligence on the part of the appellant had been established and it was on account of the
negligence of the mason that the chimney had fallen down. This court was of the view that the
proximate and efficient cause of the deaths was the negligence of the appellant in choosing a pipe of
6 inches diameter and asking a mason (who was apparently not a qualified person) to carry out the
alterations and also continuing working at least one over there during the period while the alterations
to the chimney were being made.
165Bhalchandra
and another, v. The State of Maharashtra, AIR 1968 SC 1319
the Hon'ble Supreme Court has held that the appellants who were licenseholders
for manufacturing
explosive in the factory were liable to be convicted under Ss. 304A
and 337 IPC although there was
no direct evidence of the immediate cause of the explosion. The manufacturers undoubtedly displayed
a high degree of negligence by allowing or causing to be used explosives of sensitive compositions
and substances in the manufacturing of fire works, which must be the efficient cause of explosion.
Rustom Sherior Irani v. State of Maharashtra AIR 1965 SC 1616 and Suleman Rahiman Mulani
v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1968 SC 829, distinguished.
166In
the case of Bhalachandra (supra) the hon'ble Supreme Court referred with
approval to what was said by Straight J. in Empress of India v. Indu Beg. (1881) ILR 3 All 776 that
criminal negligence is the gross and culpable neglect or failure to exercise that reasonable and proper
care and precaution to guard against injury either to the public generally or to an individual in
particular, which having regard to all the circumstances out of which the charge has arisen, it was the
imperative duty of the accused person to have adopted.
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
76
167In
Queen Empress v. Bhutan, (1894) ILR 16 All 472 the lessee of a
government ferry having the exclusive right of conveying passengers across a certain river was held
to be guilty under S. 304A
when he had committed the negligent act of putting a boat in the ferry
which was in an unsafe condition and which sunk resulting in some of persons getting drowned. The
Punjab Chief Court found a person guilty under Ss. 304A
and 338 in Kamruddin
v. King Emperor,
1905 Pun Re 22 (Cr) when he had consigned two boxes containing fire works to the Railway falsely
declaring them to contain iron locks with the result that in loading one of the boxes exploded killing
one coolie and injuring another. The inadvertence to the results of concealing the true character of the
contents of the box which was the failure of duty to the public at large and the knowledge of the
dangerous nature of the contents which must be inevitably presumed coupled with the consequences
were regarded as constituting a complete offence under the sections.
168In
view of the fact that the factory was situated near residential quarters (as in
the present case) and that mostly women and children below 18 years had been employed it was all
the more incumbent on the manufacturer to have completely avoided the use of highly sensitive
compositions.
169The
principal contention on behalf of the accused persons is that even on the
facts found it is not possible to hold that they are responsible for the explosion or had done anything
which could be regarded as a Causa causan, direct and immediate cause of the escaping of MIC.
Thus, criminal liability could not be imposed on them under Ss. 304A
and 337 of the Code as it has
not been established that the deaths or injuries caused were the direct result of any rash or negligent
act on the part of the accused persons or that any such act had been proved which was the proximate
and efficient cause of the escaping of MIC without the intervention of another's negligence.
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
77
170The
accused persons committed a number of hazardous breaches of the rules
framed under the Act and the conditions of the licences issued to them. Thus, it was pointed out,
showed a callous disregard for the safety of the employees (as in the present case).
171Adverting
to English law the case of Regina v. David Dant, (1865) 169 ER
1517 is highly instructive. This is what Erle C. J., observed:
"The defendant turned a dangerous animal on to a common where there
was a public footpath. This has been found by the jury to be culpable negligence, and the
child's death was caused by it. Ordinarily speaking these are all the requisites of
manslaughter. It is contended, however, that no offence was committed, because as we
must take it, the child was not on the path, the jury having found that it was very near, but
that they could not say whether it was on or off. In my opinion the defendant is
responsible for having brought so great a danger on persons exercising their right to
cross the common; and it is not a ground of acquittal that the child had strayed from the
path."
172In
another case, Rex v. Pitt wood (1902) 19 TLR 37 the prisoner was
charged with manslaughter on the ground that he had been negligent in not closing a gate
when a train passed which it was his duty to do with the result that White who was in a hay
cart was killed while the cart was struck by the train which came when it was crossing the line.
Wright J., was of the opinion that the prisoner had been guilty of gross and criminal negligence
as he was paid to keep the gate shut when the train came and protect the public. It was a clear
case of misfeasance as the prisoner directly contributed to the accident and he was guilty of
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
78
manslaughter.
173In
R v H.M. Coronal for Eastcan Ex.p. Spooner [1989] 88
Cr.App.R.10 Vingam L.J. “for a company to be criminally liable for manslaughter... it is
required that the mens rea and the actus reus or manslaughter should be established......
against those who were to be identified as the embodiment of the company itself.
174All
the above cases show that criminal negligence can be found on varying
sets of circumstances. The tests which have been applied appear to be fully applicable to the facts of
the present case including the one of direct and efficient cause. The appellants had, undoubtedly
displayed a high degree of negligence by allowing or causing to be used dangerous and prohibited
compositions and substances which must be held to have been the efficient cause of the explosion
175In
furtherance of his arguments the learned Counsel of the defence argued
that the direct and proximate cause of the incident of 2nd3rd
December, 1984 was the carelessness of
one helper Mohd. Saleem PW26,
who did not affix a slip blind, while undertaking water washing,
which resulted into the alleged entry of water into Tank 610. This carelessness of Mohd. Saleem can
not be attributed to any of the accused persons. He placed reliance on the decision given by the
Central Criminal Court Old Bailey London in the case of Regina V. Great Western Trains Company
Limited. There must be a law on similar footings as that of the British Law the health and
Safety Act 1974. In brief the facts of this case are Great Western Trains Company Limited (in brief
GWT) is a limited liability company with at the material time an annual turn over in excess of ₤300
million. It operates under a frenchise a fleet of high speed trains between Padington and the west
country at South Wales. Mr. George was the Managing Director and Director with over all
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
79
responsibility for safety.
176The
prosecution say that apart from Driver of the Train, the company too was
guilty of gross negligence, but, that its negligence was separate from that of the Driver. Lord Mackey
said at Page 187 “...... in my opinion the ordinary principles of the law of negligence apply to ascertain
whether or not the defendant has been in breach of a duty of care towards the victim who has died. If
such a breach of duty is established, the next question is whether that breach caused the death of the
victim. If so, the jury must go on to consider whether that breach of duty should be characterised as
gross negligence and therefore as a crime. This will depend on the seriousness of the breach of duty
committed by the defendant in all the circumstances in which the defendant was palced when it
occurred. The jury will have to consider whether the extent to which the defendant's conduct
departed from the proper standard of care incumbent upon him, involving as it must have done a risk
of death........ was such that it should be judged criminal.”
177As
far as the “company” is concern Halsbury's Law of England Fourth Edition
Vol.II(1) reissue
observes at Paragraph 35. “Criminal liability of a corporation arises where an
offence is committed in the course of the corporation's business by a person in control of its affairs to
such a degree that it may fairly be said to think and act through him so that his actions and intent are
the actions and intent of the corporation. It is not enough that the person whose conduct it is sought
to impute to the corporation is a manager or responsible agent or high executive. Whether persons
are the 'directing mind and will' of a corporation, so that their conduct in its affairs becomes the
conduct of the corporation, must depend on all the circumstances. An important circumstance is the
constitution of the corporation to the extent to which it identifies the natural persons who, by the
memorandum and articles of association, or as a result of action taken by the directors or by the
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
80
corporation in general meeting pursuant to the articles, are entrusted with the exercise of the powers
of the corporations.”
178Lord
Blackburn said in Mersey Dock Trustees v Gibb (186667)
Law Reports
1 House of Lords 1993 at Page 104 that:
“........ a body corporate never can either take care or neglect to take care, except
through its servants....”
179Next
comes the classic statement of viscount Haldane LC in Lennard's
Carrying Co. Limited v. Asiatic Petroleum Co Limited [1915] Appeal Cases 705 at page 713:
180“
My Lords, a corporation is an abstraction. It has no mind of its own any more
than it has a body of its own; its active and directing will must consequently be sought in the person of
somebody who for some purposes may be called an agent, but, who is really the directing mind and
will of the corporation, the very ego and center of the personality of the corporation. That person may
be under the direction of the shareholders in general meeting; that person may be the Board of
Directors itself, or it may be, and in some companies it is so, that that person has an authority coordinate
with the Board of Directors given to him under the articles of association, and is appointed by
the general meeting of the company, and can only be removed by the general meeting of the
company.”
181A
company awes a duty of care and if its cooperation falls far below the
standard required, it is guilty of gross negligence. A series of minor failures by Officers of the
Company by add up to a gross bridge by the company of its duty of care. There is authority for such a
doctrine in the law of tort and concept of negligence is the same in the criminal law. The difference
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
81
being one of degree.... criminal negligence must be 'gross'. It is immaterial that the doctrine of
vicarious liability in Todd does not apply in criminal law, because this is not a case of vicarious, but, of
personal liability and that is a proper concern of the criminal law. Thus, a corporation might be
possible liable for manslaughter on the aggregation principle, now, that it established that the offence
may be committed by gross negligence. As it is observed in the case of Regina V. GWT, that a
company moves with the acts of various employees and together amount to breach of duty owned by
the company to the passengers, the culminating breach amounting to gross negligence.
182Tesco
Supermarkets Limited v Nattrass [1972] Appeal Case 153 was a
case involving a Prosecution under the Trade Descriptions Act, 1968. The company sought to raise a
defence under Section 24(1) of the Act on the grounds that the commission of the offence was due to
the act or default of another person, namely the manager of the store at which it was committed, and
that they had taken all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the
commission of such an offence.
183The
House of Lords held that the taking of precautions and exercise of due
diligence u/s 24(1)(B) involves the duty of setting up an efficient system of the avoidance of offences
under the Act and a proper operation of system, that the defendants had adequately performed the
duty and had not delegated to their store manager the functions of ensuring that the system was
carried out and that according to the defendant has satisfied the requirement of the Section.
184Again
a case based on vicarious liability, therefore, the applicability of the
principle laid down in this case is negeted in the present case, as this is not a case of vicarious
liability.Vicarious liability has no application in the present case. In the mordern time there is an ever
State of MP Vs. Warren Anderson & others Cr. Case No. 8460 / 1996
82
increasing awareness and expectations of the duties and responsibilities of large corporations in
matters of health and safety. It is a sad fact that despite advances in the mordern technology from
time to time, major disaster occur. Often, perhaps, more often than not, these are the results not of
one isolated human error or technical failure, but, a combination of several operating together.

185 In Adomako the House of Lords followed the law as set out in R v Batemen
(1927) 19 Criminal Appeal Reports Page 8 and Andrews v Director of Public Prosecutions 1937 Appeal case 576 and Loard Mackey said it was perfectly appropriate to use the word 'reckless' in summing up to juries albeit in the appropriate connotation of the word rather than in the sense in which it was used in R v Lawrance [1982] Appeal Cases 510. He gave, as an example, what Jaufrey Lane L.J., as he then was said in R v Stone [1977] 1 Queen's Bench 354 at 363 where the defendant has undertaken the duty of caring for an infirm person. He referred to a reckless disregard of danger to the health and welfare of an infirm person, he said,mere inadvertence is not enough, the defendant must be proved to have been indifferent to an obvious risk of injury to health or actually to have foreseen it, but, to have determine nevertheless to run it. In the present case the management and the engineers, those who are accused, I may also refer here that prosecution witness Mr. Gourishanker and Mr. Venu Gopal, although , have not been included in the list of accused persons, are found to be reckless, as they can foreseen the faults and hazards and they nevertheless determined to run it.

186 As has been proved by the prosecution that at the relevant point of time Tank
No.610 containing 42 tons of MIC, the Refrigeration Plan,t was turned off without any written sanction of any expert/authority, VGS was out of order water washing was going on by untrained labours namely, Mohd. Saleem and Abdul Rehman. The safety manuals of UCIL reveals the fact that the staff

83
should be given an adequate training of handling the different divisions of the factory as it contains very high toxic substances. As we all are aware that how dangerous the Phosgene is. In the II World War the Ruler of Germany, Adolf Hitler, had used the same for assassinating the Nazis and such a gas, how can be handled by untrained or less trained workers.

187 As far as Gourishanker PW88 is concerned, he was also a new comer in the factory and can not be said that he was very much expert in the said field. Mr. S.I. Qureshi, who was present himself in the factory, when the incident took place, was careless and opt better to had a cup of tea rather than handling the problem, and therefore, the poor maintenance, poor management apart from the design defects were the main causa causans of the incident. Criminal negligence is the gross and culpable neglect or failure to exercise that reasonable and proper care and precaution to guard against injury either to the public generally or to an individual in particular, which having regard to all the circumstances out of which the charge has arisen, it was the imperative duty of the accused person to have adopted.

188 The learned counsel further argued that the present case is based on the circumstances which do not make a complete chain. He placed reliance on Musheer Khan @ Badshah Khan and Anr. V. State of Madhya Pradesh , AIR 2010 SC 762 in this case the
hon,ble the Apex Court referring the cases of Raghav Prapanna tripathi & others V. State of UP, Stateof UP V. Ravindra Prkash Mittle ,Mohan lal Pagasa. State of UP has held in para 4655 that in case of circumstantial evidence one must look for circumstantial evidence and not on snapped and scattered links which do not make a complete sequence and all the links must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. If the conviction is solely based on the circumstantial evidence,it must create a network from which the no escape to the accused.

84
189 All the above mentioned cases are not related to any of the industrial disaster
like the Bhopal Gas disaster. It is of its own kind in the world and the circumstances of the present case are not competable to the other case . The prosecution is able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the complete sequence and all the links circumstances responsible for the disaster. Therefore, the present case is distinguishable from the above referred cases. Hence serve no advantage to the accused persons.

190 It is argued by the learned Counsel that the normal rule is that cases involving
criminal liability is against vicarious liability. No one can be held liable for an act committed by the others vicariously without a specific provision in the statute extending liabilities to others. But, the reliance placed on the case of S.M.S. Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v. Neeta Bhalla"AIR 2005 SUPREME COURT 3512.

191 The normal rule is that in criminal cases there is no principle that the person,
who has not committed a crime, can not be punished for the act done by the others. Principles like vicarious liability res ipsa locuter are nonapplicable. There must be direct and proximate cause resulted in the incident against the accused person, only then he can be punished. A similar view has been observed in the case of Sham Sundar v. State of Haryana" AIR 1989 S C 1982.

192 In the present case there is a chain of circumstances supported by expert witnesses and the evidence of the employees of the UCIL that prove the negligent conduct of all the accused persons, who were working in different capacity at the relevant point of time and were able to avoid such type of incident by proper care and caution. However, they did not take any action and there isclear cut omission on their part. They are also having good knowledge that if the shortcomings in the

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instruments is not rectified, such incident could happen at any time. Knowing all the things, they omitted to do what they were entrusted to do. Therefore, the officers of the company responsible for the acts to be done by themselves personally, liable for the acts, which resulted in the incident of 2nd-3rd December, 1984. At the relevant point of time every person, who was the in charge and responsible to the particular division of the Factory including the management, as this act can not be done by a single person, as imposed by the defence on PW26, Mohd. Saleem, rather the job of the higher officials to look after the functioning of different important equipments, valves, pipe, tank capacity and other important aspect, due to failure of which this incident took place. By making elusive averment, a route for their escapement can not be provided, that the incident happened without their knowledge or they had exercised all due diligence to prevent the hazard of 2nd3rd Dec., 1984.

193 Consequently, the evidence adduced by the prosecution is sufficient to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused persons viz. Sri Keshub Mahindra, Chairman, Union Carbide Corporation, Bhopal, Sri Vijay Prabhaker Gokhle Managing Director, Union Carbide Corp. Sri Kishore Kamdaar,Vice President i/c AP Division Union Carbide Corp., Sri J.Mukund former Works Manager AP Division Union Carbide Corp, Sri S.P.Choudhary, Production Manager AP Division Union Carbide Corporation, Sri K.V. Shetty, Plant Superintendent Works Manager AP Division Union Carbide Corporation, Bhopal and Sri S.I. Qureshi former Production Manager AP Division Union Carbide Corporation, Bhopal, the company UCIL itself, were negligent. The negligent conduct of all the accused persons, who at the relevant point of time could have confronted such incident by proper care and caution. Knowing all the things, they omitted to do what they were entrusted to do.

194 Therefore, the company and officers of the company responsible for the acts to be

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done by themselves personally, liable for the acts, thereby the toxious MIC escaped from the tank no. E610, a huge quantity, caused the immediate death of thousands of human beings and caused simple and grievous injuries to a number of people. Some of them become permanently disabled and thereafter a number of persons effected. Thousands of animals and other creatures had also been effected.

195 The following major contributors to the disaster:
1. Gradual but sustained erosion of good maintenance practices.
2. Declining quality of technical training of plant personnel, especially its supervisory staff.
3. Depleting inventories of vital spares.
4. MIC is a highly dangerous and toxic poison, even then storage of huge quantity in large tanks was undesirable. The capacity and actual production in the Sevin Plant is not required such a huge quantity to be stored.
5. The VGS and refrigeration plant were not adequate to the need of hour and more so they were out of order at the relevant point of time.
6. The nitrogen pressure was not adequate for long before the incident, so it was not maintained and hardly cared about.
7. The Public Information System was failed, neither the State Govt. nor the UCC or UCIL took any steps to appraise the local public.
8. Other alarming systems were also failed.

196 Together these factors combined to cause the multiple failures that underlay the
calamitous incident, causing a vast destruction of life.

197 Accordingly the accused persons namely Sri Keshub Mahindra, Chairman, Union
Carbide Corp.oration Bhopal, Sri Vijay Prbhaker Gokhle Managing Director, Union Carbide Corp. Sri Kishore Kamdaar,Vice President i/c AP Division Union Carbide Corp.,Sri J.Mukund former Works Manager AP Division Union Carbide Corp, Sri S.P.Choudhary, Production Manager AP Division 87 Union Carbide Corporation, Sri KV Shetty Plant Superintendent Works Manager AP Division Union Carbide Corporation Bhopal and Sri SI Qureshi former Production Manager AP Division Union Carbide Corporation Bhopal were employed in the UCIL. And the Union Carbide Corporation found guilty for the offences punishable under sections 304A, 336, 337,and 338 r/w S.35 of Indian Penal Code,1860 and liable to be punished.

198 Therefore, the judgment is adjourned for some time for hearing the accused
persons on the question of sentence.
MOHAN P. TIWARI
CHIEF JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE,
BHOPAL, (MP)

199 It is submitted on behalf of the accused persons that most of them are old persons
and first offenders and facing the trial for last 25 years. It is further submitted that the Company has deposited a sum of US $470 million in compliance to the Supreme Court's Order. Therefore, they should be treated leniently.

200 It is submitted on behalf of Mr. Keshub Mahindra that he is an old man aged about 86 years of age and an excellent personality of the Industrial World. He was merely a nonexecutive director like the others.

201 Apart from being involved in the Industries, he has been associated and contributed to various fields, such as academic, cultural, legal and social reforms, Philantrophy, etc. Apart from all these, he is suffering from a number of diseases, like Cardiac, Spinal, etc. Therefore, considering the above mentioned facts a lenient view be adopted by enlarging the accused under probation of Offenders' Act or under the provisions of Section 360 Cr.P.C.

202 There are annexures attached to the submissions, Annexure – B & C, according to

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them Mr. Mahindra is a director and member also founder of different prestigious industrial organisation and recipient of several awards.

203 The learned Counsel of the accused, Shri Amit Desai, in support of his above
submissions placed reliance on the law laid down by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the cases of Mohd. Giasuddin v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1977) 3 SCC 297. In this case the Hon'ble Supreme Court observed as certain elemental factors are significant stand of criminological thought. Since the whole territory of punishment in its modern setting is virtually virgin so far as our country is concerned, we may as well go into the subject in some incisive depth for the guidance of the subordinate judiciary. The subject of study takes us to our cultural heritage that there is divinity in every man which has been translated into the constitutional essence of the dignity and worth of the human person. We take the liberty of making an Indian approach and then strike a cosmic note.

204 Progressive criminologists across the world will agree that the Gandhian diagnosis of offenders as patients and his conception of prisons as hospitals – mental and moral – is the key to the pathology of delinquency and the therapeutic role of 'punishment'. The whole man is a healthy man and every man is born good. Criminality is a curable deviance. The morality of the law may vary, but
is real. The basic goodness of all human beings is a spiritual axiom, a fallout
of the adviata of cosmic creation and the spring of correctional thought is criminology.

205 If every saint has a past, every sinner has a future, and it is the role of law to remind both of this. The Indian genius of old has made a healthy contribution to the word treasury of criminology. The drawback of our criminal process is that often they are built on the bricks of impressionist opinions and dated values, ignoring empirical studies and deeper researches.

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206 India, like every other country, has its own crime complex and dilemma of punishment. Solutions to tangled social issues do not come like the crack of dawn but are the product of research and study, oriented on the founding faiths of society and driving towards that transformation which is the goal of free India. Man is subject to more stresses and strains in this age than ever before, and a new class of crimes arising from restlessness of the spirit and frustration of ambitions has erupted. White collar crime, with which we are concerned here, belongs to this disease of man's inside.

207 In another case State of Maharashtra v. Chandra Prakash Keshavdeo, 1991 CRLJ
3187, the Hon'ble Mumbai High Court in para 15 observed that it is an essential necessity of public policy that accused who have committed crimes must be punished when facts are fresh in the public mind. If for whatever reasons, the judicial process had dragged on for an abnormal point of time and if the accused at that stage is faced with an adverse verdict, it would not be in the interest of justice to impose at this point of time jail sentence on the accused however serious the facts of the case are.

Moreover, to my mind, what is ultimately alleged in this case is that the accused by committing the fraud with which they have been charged, did make a realistic attempt to make substantial gain to themselves and to this extent, to my mind, the interest of justice would be served by imposing on the accused a substantial fine and not a jail sentence.

208 Mr.D. Prasad, on behalf of Mr. D.P. Gokhale has submitted that he is reputed person never convicted for any offense, presently suffering from Hypertension, Ichmeic Heart Attack and he is continuously under medication for over 25 years. His wife also suffering from cancer.

209 Shri Prasad further submitted on behalf of Mr. K.S. Kamdar that Mr. Kamdar is a man of 79 years of age and have ailments like High Blood Pressure, Slip Disc and Back Pain, Enlarged Prostrate and urinary incontinence, chronic irritable bowel in digestive system. He is also holding
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higher position in various organisations.

210 Mr. D. Prasad further argued regarding J.Mukund the then Works Manager UCIL Bhopal. Shri D. Prasad submitted that Mr. J. Mukund is having excellent qualification. His father was former Governor of Reserve Bank of India. He is an old man suffering from Diabetes alongwith High Blood Pressure and High Serium Cholesterol for which he has been undergoing treatment.

211 Regarding another accused Mr. S.P Choudhary, it is submitted by Mr. D.Prasad, that he is has excellent qualification, presently serving United Nation Breweries, South Africa in the capacity of Dy. President. He is a sole bread earned in his family and having aged parents.

212 Mr. D. Prasad submitted that Mr. K.V. Shetty is aged about 73 years of age and suffering from Cardiac Problems as he has three Arteries blocked and advised heart surgery. He and his wife stay at Udupi in Karnataka. He is simply a pensioner.

213 The last accused, Mr. S.I. Qureshi, as argued by learned Counsel, that he is seriously ill and suffering a sever paralytic attack.

214 Therefore, all the accused persons, as argued by the learned Counsels, are of old age, suffering from different diseases and has obtained excellent qualifications.

215 The Bhopal Gas Tragedy is the worst tragedy in the world that have shaken the whole world. Therefore, in such world's worst disaster, if the accused persons are extended on probation, either u/s 4 of Probation of Offenders Act or under the provision of Section 360 Cr.P.C., there will not be justice with the people, who suffered a great. The end came horribly, but, at least the nightmare was brief. For those who survived the MIC leak, the release will not come so quickly. Thousands of the seriously affected survivors still suffer such extensive lung damage that they can no longer apply

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themselves physically and walking briskly even for a few minutes sends them gasping to their knees. Women have peculiar gynaecological problems and are still given birth to deformed children.

216 The tragedy was caused by the synergy of the very worst of American and Indian
cultures. An American corporation cynically used a third world country to escape from the increasingly strict safety standards imposed at home. Safety procedures were minimal and neither the American owners nor the local management seemed to regard them as necessary. When the disaster struck there was no disaster plan that could be set into action. Prompt action by the local authorities could have saved many, if not most, of the victims. The immediate response was marred by callous indifference.

217 Union Carbide should have had the self realization to exercise the greatest care and take the precautions, when it was dealing with such lethal chemicals. It was the burden of local government also to play its supervisory and regulatory role with the at most sincerity. However, both, UCIL and Government, utterly fail in doing so. Thousands of people are still suffering. If the accused persons are dealt with sympathy, the sacrifice of the victims of Bhopal Tragedy will have been in vain. Therefore, in the circumstances of the present case, the accused persons can not be extended on probation.

218 Therefore, the accused persons namely under section 304A read with Section 35 IPC
(1)Sri Keshub Mahindra, (2)Sri Vijay Prabhaker Gokhle. (3)Sri Kishore Kamdaar,(4)Sri
J.Mukund (5)Sri S.P.Choudhary, (6)Sri KV Shetty (7)Sri SI Qureshi, holding guilty for the offence punishable under sections 304A/35 of Indian Penal Code,1860 for an imprisonment of 2 years and fine of Rs.100,000.00 each, and under section 336 Indian Penal Code,1860 an imprisonment of 3 months

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and fine of Rs. 250.00 each, and under section 337/35 Indian Penal Code,1860 an imprisonment of 6 months and fine of Rs. 500.00 each, under section 338/35 Indian Penal Code,1860 an imprisonment of 1 years and fine of Rs. 1000.00 each, In default of fine each of the accused person shall under go 6 months of imprisonment in addition. All the sentences shall run concurrently.

219(8)Union Carbide Corporation Bhopal is not a human being therefore, can not be
punished with a jail sentence . Therefore, the law laid down by hon'ble the Apex Court in the case of "Standard Chartered Bank v. Directorate of Enforcement"AIR
2005 SC 2622, is appropriate to be followed It is observed by the hon,ble Apex Court that there is no immunity to the companies from prosecution merely because the prosecution is in respect of offences for which the punishment prescribed is mandatory imprisonment. As the company cannot be sentenced to imprisonment, the Court cannot impose that punishment, but when imprisonment and fine is the prescribed punishment the Court can impose the punishment of fine which could be enforced against the company. Such a discretion is to be read into the Section viz., S. 56 of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (1973) (FERA)and Ss. 276C and 278B of Incometax Act (1961) so far as the juristic person is concerned. Of course, the Court cannot exercise the same discretion as regards a natural person.

220 As regards company, the Court can always impose a sentence of fine and the
sentence of imprisonment can be ignored as it is impossible to be carried out in respect of a company.

This appears to be the intention of the Legislature. It cannot be said that, there is a blanket immunity for any company from any prosecution for serious offences merely because the prosecution would ultimately entail a sentence of mandatory imprisonment. The corporate bodies, such as a firm or company undertake series of activities that affect the life, liberty and property of the citizens. Large scale financial irregularities are done by various corporations. The corporate vehicle now occupies

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such a large portion of the industrial, commercial and sociological sectors that amenability of the corporation to a criminal law is essential to have a peaceful society with stable economy. The Hon'ble court Overruled the views observed in the cases of Assistant Commissioner, Assessment, Bangalore v. Velliappa Textiles Ltd., AIR 2004 SC 86 : 2003 AIR SCW 5647 : 2004 Cri LJ 1221 : 2003 Tax LR 1054 : 2003 AIR Kant HCR 2878, Therefore, the company Union Carbide Of India Limited shall be liable to pay a fine under section 304A of IPC Rs.5,00,000.00 under section 336 Indian Penal Code,1860 a fine of Rs. 250.00, and under section 337/35 Indian Penal Code,1860 a fine of Rs.500.00 , under section 338/35 Indian Penal Code,1860 a fine of Rs. 1000.00 each. Bail and bonds of the accused persons are cancelled.

221 At the last I would like to suggest a separate Act to be legislated as it prevails in United Kingdom Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to make further provision for securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work, for protecting others against risks to health or safety in connection with the activities of persons at work, for controlling the keeping and use and preventing the unlawful acquisition, possession and use of dangerous substances, and for controlling certain emissions into the atmosphere; to make further provision with respect to the employment medical advisory service

222 As far as the provisions of section 357 of Criminal Procedure Code are concerned,
Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act 1985 An Act to confer certain powers on the Central Government to secure that claims arising out of, or connected with, the Bhopal gas leak disaster are dealt with speedily, effectively, equitably and to the best advantage of the claimants and for matters incidental thereto.

223 The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Dilip S. Dhanukar V. Kotak Mahindra Co.

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Ltd. 2007, All MR (Cri.) 1775 SC, in para 27 has observed that compensation is awarded towards sufferers of any loss or injury by reason of an act for which an accused person is sentenced. Although it provides for a criminal liability, the amount which has been awarded as compensation is considered to be recourse of the victim in the same manner, which may be granted in a civil suit.

224 In the present case the Hon'ble Supreme Court, while deciding criminal Appeal Nos. 3187, 3188/1988 with SLP (C) No.13080/1988 dated 1415.9.1989, 5.4.1989 and 4.5.1989 (Union Carbide Corpn. v. Union of India and Others) reported in AIR 1990 SC 273 in Para 5 of the judgment the Hon'ble Court has observed that there was a settlement finally disposing all past, present and future claims, causes of action and civil and criminal proceedings (of any nature whatsoever, wherever pending) by all Indian Citizens and all public and private entities with respect to all past, present and future deaths, personal injuries, health effects, compensation, losses, damages and civil and criminal complaints of any nature, whatsoever against UCC, UCIL and other subsidiaries affiliated as well as their former, present or future officers, the order was reviewed by the Hon'ble Court in Union Carbide Corporation etc. etc.v. Union of India, etc. etc., AIR 1992 SC 317 while disposing of Interim Appln. Nos. 1, 2 and 3 of 1989; in Civil Appeal Nos. 3187 and 3188 of 1988, D/3 10 1991 considered the points of compensation in Para 68, 69 of the Judgment.

225 Therefore, when the Govt. of India has enacted a special Act, the Bhopal Gas Leak
(Process of Claims) Act, 1985 with his own distinct features to meet one time solution. In provides exclusivity of right of the representations of all claimants by Union of India and for diversifying the individual claimants of any right to pursue any remedy for any cause against UCC and UCIL. Therefore, the point of compensation is not supposed to be reviewed and turned down by the Hon'ble Court and hence u/s 357(3) Cr.P.C. is not required to be awarded. The claims can be settled within

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the purview of the special Act.

226 Mr. Warren Anderson, UCC USA and UCC Kowlnn Hongkong are still absconding and
therefore, every part of this case (Criminal File) is kept intact alognwith the exhibited and unexhibited documents and the property related to this case, in safe custody, till their appearance.

MOHAN P.TIWARI
CHIEF JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE,
Bhopal, Dated 07 June 2010 BHOPAL, (MP)

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