Soli Sorabjee: Nuclear Liability Rules invalid

Greenpeace calls for the Rules to be brought in line with the Act

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Press release - December 13, 2011
New Delhi, December 13, 2011: Eminent jurist and former Attorney General of India, Soli Sorabjee, in an opinion on the notified Rules (1) relating to supplier liability, said that it is inconsistent with the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act 2010, and hence invalid.

Karuna Raina, Nuclear Campaigner Greenpeace said, "The newly notified Rules go against the intent of Parliament which passed one of the strongest supplier liability clauses that exist today. While the Act provides for stringent supplier liability provisions, 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 rules for the nuclear liability Act were notified before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's trip to Bali where he met US president Obama on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit. Supplier liability was the main concern for the US and hence they were lobbying for it to be diluted. The same was discussed in the recent meeting between US Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns, and the Indian Foreign Secretary Rajan Mathai.

Informed by Sobrajee's opinion, Greenpeace calls for the Rules notified by the Department of Atomic Energy to be revoked as certain clauses are repugnant to the Liability Act. "It is unfortunate that the government is adopting underhand tactics to dilute the Act, notably the extent of supplier liability. Once again the government has shown that it will stand with the nuclear industry and bow to international pressure," concluded Karuna.

Greenpeace calls on all political parties to prevent these Rules from being passed in their current form and to take a stand against the dilution of the supplier liability clause in the Act. The notified Rules should be withdrawn and should be reframed in line with the provisions on supplier liability as passed in the Act.


Notes to the editor:

1- Soli Sorabjee's opinion:

For more information:

For campaign information:

Karuna Raina, Nuclear and Energy Campaigner, 09650111955,

For Media:

Hozefa Merchant, 09819592410,

For photo and Video:

Photo: Sudhanshu Malhotra, 09810058019

Video: Areeb Hashmi, 09999246267