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I think that the case in which the Supreme Court was faced with the legal issue of assigning blame in the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India is a landmark case that demonstrates how the fundamental rights of consumers have been violated. The fact that there really has not been a substantive legal rendering in which the full extent of Dow Chemicals'/ Union Carbide's culpability, as well as the Indian Government's responsibility to the people who suffered through no fault of their own. I think that as India rapidly delves into the full implications of a consumer society, consumer rights have to be addressed and understood. The legal system has to be a domain in which consumers and the body politic can take multinational corporations to task for the abuses perpetrated on an unassuming public. The Bhopal Gas Leak at the Union Carbide plant in 1984 is a stunning example of a lack of corporate responsibility and an equally stunning example of a legal case in which the Indian Supreme Court could not or chose not to adequately punish those who were in the position of power in such a miscarriage of the public trust that a corporation should value. The paltry fines of USD 2000 paid, with nothing going to the victims, as well as nothing in way of a public acceptance of wrongdoing is a case in which the fundamental rights of Indian consumers are violated. The movement into a consumer society has to be one in which the consumer has some level of power and legal redress against the corporation, an entity that has so much at its disposal. The Union Carbide Case as presided by the Indian Supreme Court in 2010 is an example of how the fundamental rights of the consumer have been discarded, or at the very least, poorly addressed.
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