The Madhya Pradesh high court has dismissed a petition filed by Dow Chemical challenging the trial court order of 2005 issuing show cause notice to it in the 1984 Bhopal gas leak case.
The Dow Chemical International Private Limited's petition was dismissed by the high court bench of Justice G S Solanki on October 19.
A local court in Bhopal had issued a show cause notice to Dow Chemical in response to a petition moved by NGOs fighting for the rights of the gas victims in January 2005.
The NGOs prayed that Dow Chemical, which had taken over Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) in 2001, should be issued summons for appearing in Bhopal court, as by acquiring the company it has also taken over all its assets and liabilities, specially with regard to Bhopal gas tragedy.
However, Dow Chemical had appealed against the lower court order in the High Court which granted stay on it in March 2005.
But on Friday, the bench dismissed the company's petition, thus paving the way for legal course to take place against it on the issue of fulfilling its liabilities in the case.
Welcoming the decision, NGO Bhopal Group for Information and Action said the decision to lift the stay against summoning Dow Chemical in the case is a big step towards making Union Carbide face trial in India.
Thousands of people were killed and lakhs maimed following leak of a poisonous gas from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal on the intervening nights of December 2-3 in 1984.