ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Missing the Forest for the Trees

Sukla Sen in his letter (“Nuclear Liability”, 24 April) in response to our article (“The Other Side of Nuclear Liability”, 17 April) suggests that we have neglected the right of recourse of the operator and that this provision amounts to the inclusion of supplier liability. Sen seems to have overlooked the section in our article entitled “A Revised Bill” where we discussed the right of recourse of the operator explicitly. Nevertheless, we reiterate our arguments briefly and also explain why we de-emphasised that part of the bill.

In terms of nuclear commerce with the United States, India has to accede to the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC), and the liability bill has to be in line with its strictures. The CSC channels liability for any nuclear accident to the operator but allows the operator the right to sue the supplier or another party for damages (a “right of recourse”) only in two cases. The first is when there is an explicit agreement granting the operator this right and the second is when the accident resulted from the wilful actions of another individual.

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