CIC directs MEA to reveal details about Anderson extradition

New Delhi: The External Affairs Ministry should disclose all information related to the Bhopal gas tragedy, including the communication exchanged between it and the Central Bureau of Investigation on the extradition of the then Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson, the Central Information Commission has held.

Overruling the Ministry’s argument that the information could not be disclosed since the issue of Mr. Anderson’s extradition is sub judice, Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit said the matter is of significance to the general public especially to the families of the victims who have been awaiting justice for the past 26 years.

The case relates to an RTI application filed by Delhi’s Batla House resident Afroz Alam ‘Sahil’ who wanted details of the communication exchanged between the Ministry and the CBI on Mr. Anderson’s extradition and the details of the money spent till date by the Ministry in the Bhopal case.

The Ministry said disclosure of correspondence exchanged between it and the CBI could adversely affect its extradition case of Mr. Anderson as the matter is still sub judice. It also said that it has not spent any money in the case.

“It is also a matter of general awareness that the case related to the extradition of Mr. Warren Anderson has been heard and judgment reserved by the Supreme Court recently. Therefore, no question of impeding the process of extradition arises,” Ms. Dixit said in her order.

She said a sub judice matter cannot be enough ground for denying information.

“The commission directs the public authority to provide all the information as available with them in their official records relating to the matter, and as sought by the complainant, by or with in the June 10, 2011,” she said.