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LIABILITY STUDY FROM THE CASE OF BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY, 1984

Number of Words : 16650

Number of References : 17

Contents

 Summary
 Introduction
 How did this tragedy happen? What were the causes?
 Details of the event
 Origin of Union Carbide in India
 The relationship between Union Carbide Corporation of the U.S.A (UCC) and Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL)
 Law of Indian Parliament during that time and its impact upon foreign companies doing business in India
 Outcome of Insecticides Act, 1968 on domestic and foreign companies
 Role of local government-The Bhopal development plan 1975
 Union of India vs. Union Carbide Corporation case
 Stand point of union Government of India
 Stand Point of UCC
 What is Forum non conveniens?
 What are the grounds for an US court to approve or deny the doctrine of Forum non conveniens?
 Why UCC was so much interested in Forum non conveniens?
 Outcome of the law suits filed in US-Was FNC doctrine approved or dismissed?
 Civil and criminal liabilities of UCC and UCIL
 Civil and criminal liabilities of UCC and UCIL in Supreme Court of India
 Civil and criminal liabilities of UCC and UCIL in the eyes of International community
 Are Union Carbide Corporation and its officials subject to the jurisdiction of the Indian Court?
 Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act of 1985
 Indian torts law compared with U.S torts law
 Indian Torts Law-the warehouse of loopholes
 American Torts Law- Tough to figure out the loopholes
 Union Carbide’s merger with Dow Chemical
 Dow’s responsibility for Carbide’s liabilities
 A comparative analysis of Dow’s corporate accountability and liability indifferent cases
 Suggestions
 Was there any option to minimize the severity and damage of Bhopal gas disaster?
 How to prevent another Bhopal disaster?
 Conclusion
 References

Description

The aim of this study is to review a multinational corporation’s liability from an industrial disaster. This study focuses on the Bhopal case of 1984, the most devastating industrial disaster in history. The study examines nature of the litigation, the kinds of issues raised, the jurisdiction, and civil and criminal liabilities. The total study is conducted in nine sections.<br />Section one discusses the mass disaster caused by Union Carbide Corporation. How did the tragedy happen? What were the causes and details of the event? In section two, we look at the origin of Union Carbide in India. We discuss the relationship between Union Carbide Corporation of the U.S.A (UCC) and Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) This section also reviews the industrial policies and the laws enacted by the Indian Parliament and how they impacted foreign companies doing business in India. Section three examines the Union of India vs. Union Carbide Corporation case, where UCC moved to dismiss the complaints on grounds of the doctrine of forum non conveniens. UCC invokes this doctrine, arguing that the proper forum for the case was in India and not in the U.S. <br />Section four analyzes the civil and criminal liabilities of UCC and UCIL. It discusses the pending civil and criminal cases. In India and the United States the victims of Bhopal have filed a combined total of roughly 3,500 civil and criminal cases. The civil cases were heard in the Federal District Court for the southern district of New York whereas the criminal cases were heard before the chief judicial Magistrate’s court in Bhopal. The UCC executives were changed under seven different sections of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and death by negligence. Section five examines whether or not the Union Carbide Corporation and its officials are subject to the jurisdiction of the Indian Court.<br />Section six looks at the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act of 1985. The objective of the act was to grant to the Union of India an exclusive right to represent all the victims in India or elsewhere against Union Carbide. Section seven examines Indian torts law compared with U.S torts law with respect to proving negligence in personal injury and compensation cases. Under Indian law, victims have to prove negligence in order to collect compensation, while in the American Doctrine of strict liability, they would simply have to show that a defective product had injured them. Section eight reviews Union Carbide’s merger with Dow Chemical, and Dow’s responsibility for Carbide’s liabilities. In section nine draws conclusions and make recommendations concerning the responsibility of multinational corporations and their accountability for the operations of subsidiaries.<br />

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