A court here has asked a senior official in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to appear and explain why it could not serve summons to Dow Chemical in the United States in the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak case.
Judicial Magistrate First Class Heeralal Alawa issued the summons to the "undersecretary, Legal Cell-IS II Division" in the MHA on January 20 and it was dispatched on Friday, a court official said here.
The undersecretary was asked to remain present on February 20.
The Bhopal Group for Information & Action (BGIA), an NGO working for survivors of the gas leak tragedy, had filed an application in this regard.
Despite six summons issued by the Bhopal district court since 2014, the CBI could not produce authorized representative of Dow Chemical Company in the court, it said.
The MHA, whose responsibility it is to serve summons to an accused living in another country under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), did not take any steps to ensure that the summons against Dow Chemical was served by the United States government's Department of Justice, the NGO said.
Criminal proceedings were initiated against Dow Chemical to make Union Carbide, its wholly owned subsidiary, appear in the criminal case about the 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy.
Leak of a toxic gas from Union Carbide's now-defunct pesticide plant in Bhopal killed at least 3,000 persons and maimed thousands of others on the night of December 2 and 3, 1984.