JABALPUR, India, Jan. 21, Reuter: Union Carbide has been given the go ahead to appeal against a court order to pay 270 million dollars in compensation to victims of the Bhopal gas disaster, the world’s worst industrial accident.
Justice S.K. Seth of the Madhya Pradesh State High Court froze a December 17 order by a Bhopal district judge directing the U.S. multinational to pay the money within two months.
The State High Court, hearing the petition in Jabalpur, 300 km from Bhopal, set February 1 and 2 as dates for the next hearing of the Union Carbide petition.
Lawyers for Union Carbide argued that the Bhopal District Judge, M.W. Deo, had not been empowered to order interim compensation when the defendants had not admitted liability.
More than 2,500 people died and 200,000 were injured in the central Indian city when poisonous gas leaked from a pesticide plant belonging to a subsidiary of Union Carbide. More than 500,000 people have filed compensation claims.
India earlier filed a civil suit against Union Carbide for 3.3 billion dollars in damages for the disaster, which the company claims was the result of sabotage by a disgruntled employee.
Article extracted from this publication >> January 29, 1988