Moily brushes off Union Carbide verdict
Responding to questions on a US court’s decision to absolve Union Carbide and its former chairman Warren Anderson of the liabilities in the Bhopal gas tragedy, Minister for Corporate Affairs, Veerappa Moily on Friday said there was nothing to comment on the verdict.
“The verdict was pronounced by a US court. In India we have been unable to have the Law of Torts. If the Law of Torts was implemented then the case would have landed there,” he said. The US court ruled that Union Carbide India Ltd, not the parent company Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), was responsible for the Bhopal gas tragedy.
Meanwhile on the Reebok India fraud which involved two former senior executives of the company, Moily said the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), who has been handed over the case, may submit its reports soon. “The case was given to SFIO to complete its investigation in four months. The investigation has been going on at a brisk pace and the details will be given in the next two months,” he said.
Earlier, Adidas-owned Reebok India had filed FIR against its former employees Subhinder Singh Prem (MD) and Vishnu Bhagat (COO), for committing a fraud of Rs 870 crore by indulging in “criminal conspiracy” and “fraudulent' practices.” Both executives, however, had denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, reiterating that the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) will be given a statutory status to ensure that it becomes the single most powerful investigating agency into corporate frauds, Moily said: “Suggestions were being given to set up special courts to try these cases on a fast track.”
“SFIO will be given the statutory status to bring down the interference of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into corporate frauds. Further, we will be recommending to have special trained courts to dispose these cases of corporate frauds in six months, as they are taking a long duration for giving justice,” said Veerappa Moily.
Speaking at a national seminar on State of Corporate Fraud Control in India, organised by Assocham, Moily said the above measures were required for a “paradigm shift from simply prosecuting to building continuum of preventions, early interventions.”