Project Name: Bhopal Net
Bhopal Net is action group that fights for the victims of the Bhopal Gas accident. The group uses internet as a medium to fight for the human rights of victims who have been affected in the Bhopal gas tragedy, which was considered one of the world’s worst industrial catastrophes. Following the disaster,the Government of India passed the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act, 1985. The Act gave power to the Central Government to represent all claimants in appropriate forums, appoint a Welfare Commissioner and other staff and to discharge duties connected with hearing of the claims and distribution of compensation. Under this Act, in 1985, the Government formulated a scheme known as the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Scheme, for the registration, processing, and determination of compensation to each claim and appeals arising from thereon.
Since the tragedy, the victims have waged an “unrequited struggle for justice, but they have been ill-served by the Indian government, which failed to pursue the victims’ case aggressively in the Indian courts, opting instead to go easy on Union Carbide and maintain a favorable investment climate”. Union Carbide settled out of court for $470 million, thus avoiding any damaging legal precedent or liability. In return, India’s Supreme Court ordered the dismissal of all civil and criminal charges against Carbide and its officers, and gave them immunity from future prosecution. The Supreme Court felt that in this case, the victims needed immediate relief, not further legal delay.
In order to raise the issues of victims, Bhopal net action group uses documenting of their own actions and the actions taken by other groups online such as the children of Bhopal protest in front of the Prime Minister’s office. The campaign aims to keep the injustice with respect to Bhopal gas victims alive and create awareness on the conditions of the families still suffering without ever receiving proper compensation.