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Dhabhol Power Plant - India
"Many energy companies have invested in closed or repressive countries -- arguing that their investment would help develop the local economy and thereby improve the human rights situation. But in this case, Enron has invested in a democratic country -- and human rights abuses there have increased. Enron hasn't made things better for human rights; it has made things worse." Legal Restrictions Used to Suppress Opposition to the Dabhol Power Project
Table of Contents

Key Individuals Named in this Report

I. Summary and Recommendations

II. Background: New Delhi and Bombay

III. Background to the Protests: Ratnagiri District

IV. Legal Restrictions Used to Suppress Opposition to the Dabhol Power Project

V. Ratnagiri: Violations of Human Rights 1997

VI. The Applicable Laws

VII. Complicity: The Dabhol Power Corporation

VIII. Responsibility: Financing Institutions and the Government of the United States

IX. Conclusion

Appendix A: Correspondence Between Human Rights Watch and the Export-Import Bank of the United States

Appendix B: Report of the Cabinet Sub-Committee to Review the Dabhol Power Project

Appendix C: Selected Recommendations and Conclusions from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy, May 29, 1995

Appendix D: Correspondence Between the Government of India and the World Bank

The Indian Penal Code

An aspect of police behavior that illustrates a pervasive police bias against villagers opposed to the Dabhol Power project is the misuse of the Indian Penal Code to harass individuals opposed to the DPC project by falsely charging these individuals with offenses such as arson, criminal intimidation, or attempted murder.

Individuals charged under the Indian Penal Code can face the possibility of lengthy prison sentences. Attempted murder, for example, carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. In addition to prison sentences, arrests carry other hardships including hefty fines, high legal costs, and lengthy judicial proceedings. For a poor villager in a rural area, the costs and time involved in resolving a case can be extremely taxing.