Continued from page 1

In 1989, Union Carbide paid the Indian government $470 million as a settlement in the case.

In June, more than two decades after the accident, an Indian court convicted seven former managers of the subsidiary of negligent homicide. They each were sentenced to two years in prison and fined the equivalent of $2,175. The subsidiary, Union Carbide India Ltd., was fined about $10,870.

“If there are lessons to be learned from the tragic episode of Bhopal, it is that there should be strict laws which will assign civil liability and ensure that criminal liability is also pinned down. There can be no compromise with the lives and safety of the Indian people,” Mr. Karat said.

In 2008, President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative.

Under the agreement, the U.S. would end its nuclear trade ban on India, and India would open its commercial nuclear-power facilities to international inspectors. The U.S. imposed the ban in 1974 after India conducted a nuclear test and refused to sign the international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

For the agreement to become effective, India's Parliament must approve a liability bill that complies with the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage.

Late last month, the Obama administration signed an agreement governing the reprocessing of nuclear fuel in India.