Members of every opposition party walked out of Parliament Wednesday to protest the government's acceptance of $470 million from Union Carbide for the 1984 Bhopal gas leak, which killed 3,400 people.
When the legislators met a second time to discuss the Feb. 14 settlement with the Danbury, Conn.-based corporation, several lawmakers denounced the amount paid by Union Carbide as too low.The Association for Socio-Legal Literacy, a social service group, sought the higher award because the high court's Feb. 14 settlement rendered the gas victims without further legal remedy.
The government settled after suing for $3 billion.
Opposition legislators yelling "surrender to multinationals!" left Parliament after House Speaker Balram Jakhar refused to admit a censure motion against the government's acceptance of the Supreme Court's Feb. 14 order that instructed Union Carbide to pay the $470 million as full and final settlement.
Madhu Dandavate, the leader of the opposition in Parliament and a member of the Janata Party, said: "What we are talking about is very basic. The fundamental right to human life has been violated by the Supreme Court order."