Govt. had taken up the Dow Chemical issue with IOC: Maken

New Delhi: Ajay Maken, Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, on Thursday made it clear that his ministry had taken up the matter of Dow Chemicals sponsoring the London Olympics directly with International Olympics Committee (IOC), urging it to go beyond lesser considerations, and in the larger interests of the ideals of human rights, compassion and solidarity, cancel the sponsorship of the company.

“It apart from assuaging the feelings of millions of people, would have sent a strong message the world over, for upholding the noble ideals of the Olympic Movement,” Maken said, adding that however, IOC has reiterated their earlier stand on the issue. Maken informed this in a written reply to a question by SS Ahluwalia.

The Minister further stated that earlier the government had directed Indian Olympic Association to take up the issue of sponsoring of London Olympics, 2012 by Dow Chemicals emphatically with the IOC to draw its attention to the sensitivities of the victims of the tragedy in Bhopal and that the association with the Dow Chemical Company militates against the fundamental ethical principles of the Olympic Committee. Indian Olympic Association took up the matter with the IOC to which IOC replied that Dow Chemical had no connection with the Bhopal tragedy since Dow did not have any ownership stake in Union Carbide until 16 years after the accident and 12 years after the US $ 470 million compensation agreement was approved by the Supreme Court of India.

The question of liability of Dow Chemicals Company and/or any other successor to Union Carbide Corporation/Union Carbide (India) Limited is pending before High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur. Dow Chemicals is also one of the respondents. The Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals has also filed a Curative Petition (C) No.345-347/2010 on 03.12.2010 in Supreme Court seeking enhancement in the compensation which was earlier settled at US $ 470 million by Supreme Court vide its Orders dated 14th/15th February, 1989, the Minister added.