Amnesty International has called on the Dow Chemical Company (Dow) to appear before a Bhopal court this week to explain why its subsidiary Union Carbide Company repeatedly ignored summons in the 1984 gas leak case.
The industrial accident, the worst in Indian history, led to the leak of poisonous methyl isocyanate, claiming thousands of lives in the Madhya Pradesh capital. Hundreds of thousands of others had suffered chronic health problems.
The toxic leak has led to environmental contamination at the former plant site, claim activists.
"Dow should not hide from the summons. Why is Dow afraid to face the courts in Bhopal?" asked T Kumar, International Advocacy Director at Amnesty International USA and an expert on global human rights.
"We are closer than ever to realising justice. It's critical that we keep public pressure on Dow to attend the July 4 court hearing to ensure meaningful corporate accountability for the victims of the Bhopal disaster and their families," Kumar said.
As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure justice for survivors of the toxic gas disaster in Bhopal, Amnesty International last week organised a rally outside Dow's Washington offices to pressure the company to comply with the summons.