BHOPAL, India, June 29, Reuter: An Indian court ordered the Union Carbide Corporation of United States on Wednesday not to reach individual settlements on compensation for victims of the Bhopal gas disaster. Judge M_H. Deo, who is trying the Indian government’s 3.3 Billion dollar claim for compensation on behalf of the victims, issued an interim order restraining the U: S. Company from making individual deals.

On June 16, government lawyers urged the court to stop Union Carbide negotiations terms with about 30 people seeking private settlements in courts in the United States.

About 2,500 people were killed and more than 200,000 injured in December 1984 when poison gas leaked from Carbide’s pesticides plant at Bhopal in Central India. It was the world’s biggest industrial disaster.

Deo set July 29 for final arguments on India’s application to stop the U.S. Company from making individual deals.

Union Carbide lawyer Fali Nariman said the Indian government should have made its application at a court in Connecticut, where the company has its headquarters.

Nariman also said the application was against the best interest of victims and had been waiting more than three and a half years for a settlement.

Article extracted from this publication >> July 8, 1988