Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Role of Supreme Court of India

By Saksham Dwivedi, CNLU

INTRODUCTION

Hazardous substances pervade modern industrialized societies. Indian industry generates, uses, and discards toxic substances. Day by day the increasing use of technology to the make human life easy has an equal and opposite reaction in form of claiming lives in case of mis-handling of those hazardous substances. The world has been witness to such man-made disasters whether it is in the form of the atom bomb dropped by the U.S on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or it is the nuclear accident at Chernobyl.

All these incidents had one thing in common that they posed a great threat to the upcoming human generations and the environmental damage caused thereby cannot be estimated. The question arises how far such kind of activities, that in the present world, is carried on by the corporations can be regulated and checked, and to what extent the liability of such bodies should be fixed.

India too has been witness to such an unfortunate event of an industrial accident in the year of 1984 when in Bhopal a toxic gas Methyl Isocyanate escaped from the chemical plant of Union Carbide in Bhopal. The event led to the death of more than 3500 people as per the initial estimates, however today, years after that accident it is believed that the death toll was as close to 8000.

The question that arose with this incident was regarding the liability of the Union Carbide and at the same time the regarding the adverse environmental impact that similar industries handling the hazardous substances posed on human life and earth.

The Bhopal Gas leakage case led to the manifold developments in the India legal system. The transition from the rule of strict liability to that of the absolute liability in the Shri Ram Gas leakage case at the time when the Bhopal Case was pending was the consequence of the immense loss of life that occurred in the incident of 1984. The enactment of the stricter environmental statutes followed next.

Stringent rules regarding the entities dealing with the hazardous substances were made. Section 2(e) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 defines hazardous substances to mean, “Any substance or operation which, by reason of its chemical or physic-chemical properties or handling, is liable to cause harm to human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organisms, property or the environment. In the present project, we will analyze in detail as to what happened in Bhopal and what were the effects that this catastrophe had on the Enviro-legal scenario of the country. Also, the issues related to the payment of compensation to the victims of the accident shall be considered which till today has not met its finality in the judicial process.

THE INCIDENT

A massive leak of toxic methyl Isocyanate (MIC) gas occurred during the night of December 2-3, 1984, at the Bhopal plant of Union Carbide, India, Ltd. (UCIL), a subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation, a New York corporation with headquarters in Danbury, Connecticut. Union Carbide owned 50.9 percent of the stock of its Indian subsidiary.

The Indian government’s reports put the death toll at 2,347, over 1,600 of whom were killed as a direct result of the deadly gas leak, while the remaining hundreds died because of its fatal effects over the next several months. Those seriously injured number between 30,000 and 40,000 and the Indian Government received 500,000 leak-related claims. Lingering effects include shortness of breath, eye irritation, and depression.

However, the official account of the number of deaths and that of injured is far less that the number of persons that actually were dead and injured. The lack of the documentation of deaths that fateful night, the subsequent chaos in administering aid to the victims since then, and the ongoing disputes over causes of illness, deaths, and the effects of the exposure lead to the conclusion that the actual number of sick and dead will never be accurately fixed.[i] The numbers also fail to convey the anger, resignation, fear, and suffering of many thousands of survivors who continue to the evidence the patterns of psychological and physical damage through exposure to the initial gas and the lingering fears of unknown illnesses and future genetic mutation.[ii]

UCIL was the Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). Indian Government controlled banks and the Indian public held 49.1 percent ownership share. In 1994, the Supreme Court of India allowed UCC to sell its 50.9 percent share. The Bhopal plant was sold to McLeod Russel (India) Ltd. UCC was purchased by Dow Chemical Company in 2001.

Following the accident there started a long unending journey quest for justice to the victims of the incident. However, the grave questions that arose from this unfortunate incident were two fold. Firstly the question was related to the quantification of the liability of the corporations handling the hazardous substances in view of the absence of any established principle. Another much grave question was related to the impact of such hazardous substances on the environment and the issue of prevention of such damages in the future by the installation of proper safety devices and mechanisms.

THE QUEST FOR JUSTICE

No sooner than the accident in Bhopal took place, it was flocked by the American personal injury lawyers. The Government of India, to ensure that the claims arising out of the disaster were dealt with properly and speedily, enacted the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act, 1985.

Section 3(1) of the Bhopal Act read as follows:

Power of Central Government to represent claimants

Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Central Government shall, and shall have the exclusive right to, represent, and act in place of (whether within or outside India) every person who has made, or is entitled to make, a claim for all purposes connected with such claim in the same manner and to the same effect as such person.

This Act conferred the exclusive right on the Indian Government acting as parens patriae, to represent all claimants both within and outside India, and directed the Government to organize a plan for the registration and processing of victim’s claims.

Initial Litigation Strategy: Filing of the suit in American Courts

In April 1985, immediately after the Bhopal Act was passed, the Indian Government sued the Union Carbide in the United States. An answer to the question that may reasonably arise in the mind of any person that why did the Indian Government take recourse of the U.S courts, would be the probable lack of confidence in its own judicial system coupled with the desire for the huge sum of damages that may be awarded by the American jury.

Also, the skepticism about whether the UCC would submit to the jurisdiction of India or not might have been the factor leading to the preference of the Indian Government for the American forums. In April 1985, the Indian government, on behalf of the victims, filed as parens patriae a lawsuit against Union Carbide in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York, seeking both compensatory and punitive damages in an unspecified amount[iii], invoking six separate theories of liability on the part of Union Carbide-absolute liability, strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, misrepresentation, and the multinational enterprise liability theory.

The U.S. lawyers filed a lawsuit in India challenging the Indian government’s action of filing a lawsuit on behalf of all the victims in the United States, alleging that the Bhopal Act violated the right of Indian citizens under the Constitution of India to choose their own counsel, and alleging a conflict of interest by the Indian government, for it could not represent the victims because of its shared responsibility for the disaster by failing to enforce safety regulations.[iv]

The Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all the lawsuits brought in the United States in federal district court in the Southern District of New York.[v] On May 12, 1986, District Judge Keenan dismissed the case on the grounds of forum non conveniens under three conditions: first, that Union Carbide consent to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of India and continue to waive defense based upon the statute of limitations; second, that Union Carbide agree to satisfy any judgment rendered against it by an Indian court, provided that the minimal requirements of due process are met; and third, that Union Carbide comply with U.S. rules of discovery under the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.[vi]

Settlement Efforts Rejected

Efforts at a negotiated settlement did not succeed as the Indian government rejected a Union Carbide offer of 350 million dollars, an offer accepted by lawyers representing private plaintiffs in litigation.[vii] Attorneys for the individual plaintiffs in the Bhopal case appealed the ruling by Judge Keenan that sent the proceedings to India.[viii] Union Carbide cross-appealed the judge’s ruling contending that the Indian government must also be bound by U.S.-style discovery rules and that Judge Keenan should retain authority to monitor the Indian court proceedings and be available to rectify any possible abuses of Union Carbide’s right to due process in India.[ix]

Subsequently, on September 5, 1986, the Indian government sued Union Carbide in the Bhopal district court in India for damages arising out of the gas leak, seeking at least 3 billion dollars.[x] The Second Circuit Court, however, rejected the appeal to the extent it called for the supervision of the proceedings in the Indian Court by Judge Keenan for the reason that the same was opposed to the basic jurisdictional principles and was an impractical step. However, it granted the UCC the U.S style discovery powers.

FORUM NON CONVENIENS

Literally, Forum non conveniens is a Latin term for “forum not agreeing”. It is a most common law legal doctrine whereby courts may refuse to take jurisdiction over matters where there is a more appropriate forum available to the parties. As a doctrine of the conflict of laws, forum non conveniens applies between courts in different countries and between courts in different jurisdictions in the same country.[xi]

This is a public policy doctrine directed against the move for buying jurisdiction by the parties to be in a more advantageous position in the trial.

The law regarding the FNC has been laid down in the United States by the Supreme Court in the case namely Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert[xii] and Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno[xiii]. The Gilbert case was decided in 1947 along with the companion case Koster v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co.[xiv] In the former two cases the U.S Supreme Court laid down the standards for the application of the doctrine forum non conveniens and in the latter case the Supreme Court reviewed the earlier cases and added two more distinct principles to the test laid down in the Gilbert. The principles enunciated by the Supreme Court in Gilbert and its companion case can be summed as follows:

1. The ultimate inquiry in the application of the doctrine of forum non conveniens is, “where the trial will best serve the convenience of the parties and the ends of justice?[xv]

2. The plaintiff’s choice of forum should rarely be disturbed unless the balance is strongly in favor of the defendant.[xvi]

Further, in the Piper’s case, the Supreme Court held that the ‘impact of the change in the substantive law because of the dismissal on the ground of forum non convenience should not be given ‘conclusive or even substantial weight in the inquiry thereof.[xvii]

However, along with the foregoing general principle the Supreme Court maintained that the unfavorable change in law could be considered as a factor in the inquiry of the forum non conveniens and may be given a substantial weight, where the remedy provided by the alternative forum is so clearly inadequate or unsatisfactory that it is no remedy at all, in the interests of justice.[xviii]

In case of the suit filed by the Indian Government in the District court of New York, the Court applying the principle of Piper held that:

The courts of India appear to be well up to the task of handling this case. Any unfavorable change in law for plaintiffs which might be suffered upon transfer to the Indian courts, will, by the rule of Piper, not be given substantial weight. Differences between the two legal systems, even if they are injurious to the plaintiff, do not suggest that India is not an adequate alternative forum.”[xix]

However, two conditions were imposed by the district court on the UCC as pre-requisite to the dismissal of the case filed by the Indian Government, they being:

  1. Union Carbide shall submit to discovery on the American model.
  2. It should agree to be bound by and to satisfy the judgment of the Indian tribunal.

Reasons for which the case was dismissed: the ground of forum non conveniens

According to the rule established in the Gilbert the balancing of the public and the private interest keeps a great significance in the determination of the application of forum non conveniens. The district court while determining the balance of public and private interest held that the private interests weighed greatly in favour of the dismissal on the ground of forum non conveniens.[xx]  It found that relative ease of access to sources of proof bearing on liability favoured dismissal, for most of the documentary evidence concerning design, manufacture and operation of the Bhopal plant, training of employees, and issues of safety, was to be found in India. 2

Similarly, the court found that consideration of the other two factors articulated in Gilbert, ease of access to witnesses, and the ease of arranging a view of the premises should one be required, also favoured dismissal. So far as the public interest factors are considered, the Court considered that since the plant was heavily regulated by the Indian government, and there was no American interest involved, the outcome of this litigation outweighed the interest of India in applying Indian law and Indian values to the task of resolving this case.[xxi]

THE BATTLE IN INDIA

After the American courts refused to entertain the case on the grounds of forum non conveniens, the legal battle with the corporate giant was pursued further in India. The District Court of Bhopal awarded an interim payment of ` 350 Crores. However, in an appeal to this judgment given by District Judge Deo, Justice Seth in the Madhya Pradesh High Court reduced the interim award by 30 percent, against which the Union of India appealed in the Supreme Court where a five judge bench heard the case.

In the High Court, the interim award was given by the Justice Seth on the basis of a more than prima facie case being made out against the defendants. The lawyers of UCC claimed that the judgement given by the High Court amount to verdict without trial. While in appeal the Supreme Court observed that there was a dismal situation of the principal lawsuits and there was hardly any progress. The hopes of the victims were dimmed by the ineffectiveness of different manoeuvres adopted by the Government and the apparent disregard for the victims by the UCC.[xxii]

The strategy of the Government seemed in the present case to be unconventional in the sense that instead of pursuing the principal lawsuit, it went ahead with the pursuit of the pre-trial award. However, this pursuit ultimately culminated to be a wild goose chase and at the end of 4 years after the accident the victims remained hopeless and the agony was increasing day by day. The Supreme Court of India might not have appreciated this litigation strategy of the government and in order to provide an immediate solace to the victims of the world’s worst industrial catastrophe.

In its order dated 14th February 1989 the Supreme Court ordered an overall settlement of the claims that arose from the disaster whereby the UCC was to pay an amount of US $ 470 million to the Indian Government as full and final settlement of all the claims, past, present and future, both civil and criminal arising out of the disaster. The settlement was formulated by the Supreme Court in the following terms:

Consequential Terms of Settlement

  1. The parties acknowledge that the order dated February 14, 1989, as supplemented by the order dated February 15, 1989, disposes of in its entirety all proceedings in Suit No. 1113 of 1986. This settlement shall finally dispose of 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, Union Carbide India Limited, Union Carbide Eastern, and all of their subsidiaries and affiliates as well as each of their present and former directors, officers, employees, agents representatives, attorneys, advocates and solicitors arising out of, relating to or connected with the Bhopal Gas leak disaster, including past, present and future claims, causes of action and proceedings against each other. All such claims and causes of action whether within or outside India of Indian citizens, public or private entities are hereby extinguished, including without limitation each of the claims filed or to be filed under the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Registration and Processing of Claims) Scheme, 1985, and all such civil proceedings in India are hereby transferred to this Court and are dismissed with prejudice, and all such criminal proceedings including contempt proceedings stand quashed and accused deemed to be acquitted.

The aforesaid settlement apparently might seem satisfactory enough to do justice with the victims of the accident but when compared to the pain and agony that has been suffered by them, this settlement hardly seems to make any restitution.

Constitutionality of the Bhopal Act, 1985: Charan Lal Sahu v. Union of India

The Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claim) Act, 1985 was assailed on the touchstone of Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. It was contended by the appellants that the Section 3, 4 and 11 of the Bhopal Act, 1985 insofar as they take away the right of the victims to represent themselves should be, declared unconstitutional.

It was urged to consider whether Section 3, 4 and 11 take away the rights of the victims and the citizens to fight for their own causes and to assert their own grievances validly and properly, in the light of the prevailing conditions at the time, the nature of the right of the citizen, the purpose of the restrictions on their rights to sue for enforcement in the courts of law or for punishment for offences against his person or property, the urgency and extent of the evils sought to be remedied by the Act, and the proportion of the impairment of the rights of the citizen with reference to the intended remedy prescribed.[xxiii]

Reliance was put by the petitioners on the case of State of Madras v. V. G. Row[xxiv] wherein the Supreme Court held:

“…….in considering the reasonableness of the law imposing restrictions on the fundamental rights, both the substantive and the procedural aspects of he impugned restrictive law should be examined from the point of view of reasonableness. And the test of reasonableness, wherever prescribed, should be applied to each individual statute impugned, and no abstract standard or general pattern of reasonableness can be laid down as applicable to all cases. The nature of the right alleged to have been infringed, the underlying purpose of the restrictions imposed, the extent and urgency of the evil sought to be remedied thereby, the disproportion of the imposition, the prevailing conditions at the time, should all enter into the judicial verdict.”

The Act was also assailed on the ground of Article 14 whereby it was contended that right to equality is guaranteed to every person under Article 14 in all matters like the laws of procedure for enforcement of any legal or constitutional right in every jurisdiction, substantive law defining the rights expressly or by necessary implication. Denial of any of these rights to any class of citizen in either field must have nexus with the constitutionally permissible object and can never be arbitrary.

It was further contended that the Union of India was a joint tort-feasor along with UCC and UCIL. It had negligently permitted the establishment of such a factory without proper safeguards exposing the victims and citizens to great danger. Such a person or authority cannot be entrusted to represent the victims by denying the victims their rights to plead their own cases.[xxv]

The Supreme Court of India, in its judgment, upheld the constitutional validity of the Act under which the Indian government gave itself the exclusive right to represent all Bhopal victims in civil litigation against Carbide. The court acknowledged that the Bhopal act entitled the victims to notice and an opportunity to be heard on any proposed settlement and the settlement in the February 1989 failed to give any such notice.

Nevertheless, the court concluded that in the special facts and circumstances of the case ‘a post decisional hearing would not be in the ultimate interest of justice.’ The Court noted that the hearings to be held during the review of the settlement afforded sufficient opportunity to the victims and rationalized its view by declaring that ‘to do a great right after all it is permissible sometimes to do a little wrong.’

The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Disaster

On April 20, 2010, a tragic disaster hit the Gulf Coast. British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon rig exploded spewing crude oil into the ocean from the three major cracks in the rig. It rivaled the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill within days of exploding (Gerstein, 2010). A few years earlier, BP was fined $20 million for neglecting to prevent leaks in a pipeline in Alaska’s Pruhoe Bay. From June 5, 2010, to June 14, 2010, BP had collected 127,000 barrels of oil in their containment cap alone; while it is believed that a total 60,000 barrels of oil a day are gushing into the Gulf[xxvi].

The oil slick can be seen from space and covers an area of 130 miles by 70 miles even though BP has dumped 50,000 barrels of heavy mud on the leaks to help stop the flow of oil (2010). After the insistence from government officials, BP began drilling a relief well that will intersect with the original well and will pull up oil so that BP can dump more mud and concrete into the old well and retire it for good. BP is attempting to help the states affected by the oil spill. Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana received $15 million each from BP, while Florida received $25 million (New Orleans is asking that BP shell out another $75 million to them alone to help maintain their image); all the states plan on using the majority of the money to fund advertising campaigns to draw in tourists.

BP has also set aside $20 billion for “tourism and leisure businesses” who file  compensation claims[xxvii].

Doctrine of Absolute Liability: M.C Mehta v Union of India

In the December, 1985 just a day after the first anniversary of the Bhopal Gas accident in the suburbs of Delhi, oleum leaked from the sulphuric acid plant located within the premises of caustic chlorine plant, thereby affecting several people. A writ petition was filed by the environmentalist and lawyer M.C Mehta as public interest litigation. Justice P.N Bhagwati who decided the case took the opportunity to enunciate the principle of absolute liability of the corporation dealing with the hazardous substances.

When this case was brought before the Supreme Court, the Bhopal case was pending. The decision given in this case had to have an impact on the decision of the Bhopal case. This is to emphasize that the Shriram was one of the largest corporations in India. However, the litigation strategy adopted by Shriram was quite different to that of UCC in the Bhopal case. Shriram easily conceded to and complied with the directions given by the Supreme Court in the case.

The Supreme Court in its first order considered the question concerning the true scope and ambit of Articles 21 and 32 of the Constitution, the principles and norms for determining the liability of large enterprises engaged in manufacture and sale of hazardous products, the basis on which damages in case of such liability should be quantified and whether such large enterprises should be allowed to continue to function in thickly populated areas and if they are permitted so to function, what measures must be taken for the purpose of reducing to a minimum the hazard to the workmen and the community living in the neighbourhood.[xxviii]

The most important development in this case was made in its third order, wherein a milestone in the Indian legal system was created whereby the rule of strict liability[xxix] as laid down in the case of Rylands v Fletcher[xxx] was carried a step further to develop the concept of absolute liability. The Court observed regarding the aforesaid rule:

It is not necessary for us to consider these decisions laying down the parameters of this rule because in a modern industrial society with highly developed scientific knowledge and technology where hazardous or inherently dangerous industries are necessary to carry as part of the developmental programme, this rule evolved in the 19th century at a time when all these developments of science and technology had not taken place cannot afford any guidance in evolving any standard of liability consistent with the constitutional norms and the needs of the present day economy and social structure.

We need not to feel inhibited by this rule which was evolved in the context of a totally different kind of economy. Law has to grow in order to satisfy the needs of the fast changing society and keep abreast with the economic developments taking place in the country. As new situations arise the law has to be evolved in order to meet the challenge of such new situations. Law cannot afford to remain static……..We are of the view that an enterprise which is engaged in a hazardous or inherently dangerous industry which poses a potential threat to the health and safety of the persons working in the factory and residing in the surrounding areas owes an absolute and non-delegable duty to the community to ensure that no harm results to anyone on account of hazardous or inherently dangerous nature of the activity which it has undertaken. The enterprise must be held to be under an obligation to provide that the hazardous or inherently dangerous.”

Having observed the transition of the Court from strict liability to absolute liability, it can be very well said that the aforesaid judgment adds support to the supposition that the court’s hidden agenda was to anticipate and nullify the ‘third party sabotage’ defence in the Bhopal case. Apart from this other observation that were made by the court were regarding the establishment of the green courts, green belts around the industrial areas along with a special emphasis by the court on the need of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The court also advocated the need for the establishment of the Ecological Science Research Group consisting of independent and competent experts to provide need scientific and technological input to the government in such cases.[xxxi]

CONCLUSION

Who is to blame here? Many years after the Bhopal Gas leak, the worst industrial catastrophe in history, it remains unclear who must bear the legal responsibility. Certainly, there is plenty of blame to go around and the recipients include Union Carbide, UCIL and the governments of India and Madhya Pradesh. The role of the India government in the Bhopal disaster was that of an actor in many parts. The government was keen that transnational corporations such as carbide set up shops in India, in the hope of creating jobs and drawing new technology and industry into this rapidly developing country.

The Government was also responsible for overseeing the construction and management of the carbide plant ensuring that applicable health and safety standards were met. Then with the passage of the Bhopal Act, the government named itself as the sole plaintiff in all litigation, which created an enormous conflict of interests. And while the issues of liability, an adequate amount of compensation, and strategies to resolve the Bhopal controversy are of great significance and ought to concern us, the issues often ignored relate to the Bhopal victims for whom the bell continues to toll.

Consequently, what is of utmost concern is to devise ways to ensure justice for the Bhopal victims in the long run and to make certain that their relief and rehabilitation needs are appropriately met.

Formatted on February 17th, 2019.

REFERENCES:

[i] Divan, Shyam and Rosencranz, Armin, Environmental Law and Policy in India: Cases, Materials and Statutes, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2008, p. 547

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] In re Union Carbide Corp., 634 F. Supp. at 844; See also Galanter, Legal Torpor: Why So Little Has Happened in India After the Bhopal Tragedy, 20 TEXAS INT’L L. J. at p.286 [as cited in Nanda, Ved P., For Whom the Bell Tolls In the Aftermath of the Bhopal Tragedy: Reflections on Forum Non Conveniens and Alternative Methods of Resolving the Bhopal Dispute, 15 Denv. J. Int’l L. & Pol’y 235 1986-1987, p.239]

[iv] Lewin, Carbide Is Sued in U.S. by India in Gas Disaster, N.Y. Times, April 9, 1985, at D2, col.4

[v] In re Union Carbide Corp. Gas Plant Disaster at Bhopal, India in Dec. 1984, 634 F. Supp. 842, 844 (S.D.N.Y. 1986) [as cited in Nanda, Ved P., For Whom the Bell Tolls In the Aftermath of the Bhopal Tragedy: Reflections on Forum Non Conveniens and Alternative Methods of Resolving the Bhopal Dispute, 15 Denv. J. Int’l L. & Pol’y 235 1986-1987, p.239]

[vi] Ibid at 867

[vii] Int’l Env’t. Rptr. (BNA) 107 (April 9, 1986) [as cited in Nanda, Ved P., For Whom the Bell Tolls In the Aftermath of the Bhopal Tragedy: Reflections on Forum Non Conveniens and Alternative Methods of Resolving the Bhopal Dispute, 15 Denv. J. Int’l L. & Pol’y 235 1986-1987, p.240]

[viii] Supra at note 5

[ix] Ibid. at 202

[x] Hazarika, India to Seek at Least $3 Billion From Union Carbide for Bhopal, N.Y. Times, Nov. 23, 1986, at 10, col. 6; Meir & Miller, India Plans to Seek at Least $3 billion From Union Carbide for Bhopal Claims, Wall St. J., Nov. 24, 1986, at 3, col. 1[as cited in Nanda, Ved P., For Whom the Bell Tolls In the Aftermath of the Bhopal Tragedy: Reflections on Forum Non Conveniens and Alternative Methods of Resolving the Bhopal Dispute, 15 Denv. J. Int’l L. & Pol’y 235 1986-1987, p.241]

[xi] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forum_non_conveniens, visited on 11th November 2011, 15:05 hours

[xii] 330 U.S. 501 (1947)

[xiii] 454 U.S. 235 (1981)

[xiv] 330 U.S. 518 (1947)

[xv] 330 U.S. at  527

[xvi] 330 U.S. at  508

[xvii] 454 U.S. at 247

[xviii] Ibid. at 254

[xix] In re Union Carbide Corp. Gas Plant Disaster at Bhopal, India in Dec. 1984, 634 F. Supp. 842, 845 (S.D.N.Y. 1986), citing Piper Aircraft v. Reyno, 454 U.S. at 256, 261

[xx] Ibid, at 860

[xxi] Ibid, at 860

[xxii] Supra at note 1, p. 548

[xxiii] Charan Lal Sahu v Union of India, AIR 1990 SC 1480, para 28

[xxiv] AIR 1952 SC 607

[xxv] Ibid, at para 30

[xxvi] Walsh, B. (2010). Stopping the Oil Spill. Time, 176 (5), 24-27

[xxvii] Beard. E., Hannan, M,. & Hayward, P. (2010). After the Spill. (Cover Story). Parks and Recreation, 45 (11), 38-45.

[xxviii] M.C Mehta v Union of India AIR 1987 SC 965

[xxix] Rule of Strict liability: A person who for his own purposes brings on his land and collects and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes must keep it at his peril and, if he fails to do so, is prima facie liable for the damage which is the natural consequence of its escape.

[xxx] 1868 LR 3 HL 330

[xxxi] Supra, at note 26

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