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29 years after the tragic event, it is but right that a new generation of people come to learn of the facts surrounding an event that redefined the way that governments respond to chemical explosions. This paper will also look at the after effect of the explosion on the judicial system and take a look at how the victims have benefitted or not from the court decisions.
It is important to understand that the Bhopal tragedy did not fall squarely on the shoulders of Union-Carbide, a mere stock holder in the Union-Carbide plant. Rather, Union-Carbide India was owned and operated by the Indian company of the same name. In a statement on their website, Union - Carbide explains that:
“Union Carbide India Limited designed, built and managed the plant using Indian consultants and workers. In 1994, Union Carbide sold its entire stake in UCIL to Mcleod Russel India Limited of Calcutta, and UCIL was renamed Eveready Industries India Limited (Eveready Industries). As a result of the sale of its shares in UCIL, Union Carbide retained no interest in - or liability for - the Bhopal site. The proceeds of the UCIL sale were placed in a trust and exclusively used to fund a hospital in Bhopal, which now provides specialist care to victims of the tragedy. “
After the explosion, Union Carbide hired the independent firm of Arthur D. Little, Inc. to undertake a thorough investigation as to what caused the explosion. The findings of the investigators was clear. There was sabotage involved as water backed into the tank that caused a chemical reaction, leading to the explosion. ( Bhopal Information Center, “Statement of Union Carbide Regarding The Bhopal Tragedy”). Safety precautions have since been taken on a world wide scale to prevent the occurrence of another explosion stemming from a similar cause.
The Supreme Court of India saw just cause to hold Union-Carbide partly responsible
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