13 August 2012, New Delhi: In an attempt to stop the dilution of the Nuclear Liability Act through the Rules under the Act, Greenpeace launched a unique mobile drive earlier this month to gather public support for a full-page advertisement in leading national dailies on Independence Day. 1,14,000 ordinary citizens have already spoken against dilution of the Act, and over 32,000 of them have expressed this support through individual donations
Over the last one week, thousands of Indian citizens from across the country have given a missed call (080 4904 8000) to show their support by either signing the petition or by individual contribution towards the advertisement. “It is probably for the first time that the people of this country will place a full page advertisement in a National newspaper on the Independence Day as a direct message to its government” said Karuna Raina, Greenpeace Campaigner.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, blamed the ‘foreign hand’ for wide spread anti-nuclear protest. “Using foreign hand as a bogey to justify human rights violation(s) as well as undemocratic crack down on non-violent peaceful protest, the government charged thousands with sedition. In this(Liability) case, with the dilution of the Act, the pressure is clearly coming from USA, France and Russia – the people of India are not for dilution, certainly this is not in India’s interest.” said Dr. S P Udayakumar , coordinator of PMANE.
The Nuclear Liability Act provides for stringent supplier liability provisions while the Rules dilute this provision by limiting the extent of liability and the period of cover. In limiting supplier liability and almost indemnifying suppliers, the Rules impose the ultimate financial burden of a nuclear accident on the Indian government and the taxpayer.
“The massive response from the people to this mobile campaign should be noted by the Government which is bent on diluting the Nuclear Liability Act. Now that the Prime Minister has raised the question about supplier liability in one case, he cannot choose to ignore the implications of dilution of supplier liability through a policy measure (the Rules). ” added Ms. Raina. The Rules for the Nuclear Liability Act (2010) were notified in November last year. According to an opinion on the rules by former Attorney General for India, Soli Sorabjee, the notified rules are inconsistent with the Act and therefore invalid. The rules dilute the clause 17(b) of the nuclear liability Act and let nuclear suppliers off the hook in case of a mishap.
Recent media reports have made public, the questions raised by Dr. Manmohan Singh, in his capacity as the head of Department of Atomic Energy, to procure a legal opinion on the application of the supplier liability clause in the case of Kudankulam reactors 3 and 4. The Law Ministry has requested current Attorney General, Goolam Essaji Vahanvati, to give his opinion on the issue.
Greenpeace calls on Dr. Manmohan Singh in his capacity as the Chief of the Department of Atomic Energy as well as the Prime Minister of our country to consider ex-Attorney General's opinion as well as concerns raised by the people of India and question the Rules notified by the DAE.
1- Link to the Advt: http://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/What-We-Do/Nuclear-Unsafe/ForeignHand/
For more information contact:
Karuna Raina, +9650111955,
Shachi Charturvedi, +91 9818750007,
Hozefa Merchant, +91 9819592410,