26/11 victims’ families go to apex court over hotel securityJanuary 8th, 2010 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) Four Mumbaikars who lost their family members in 26/11 have approached the Supreme Court seeking direction for enactment of laws for adequate security measures in luxury hotels and insurance cover for hotel guests falling victim to terror attacks.
The Supreme Court Friday sought the government’s stand on the lawsuit.
Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice B.S. Chauhan issued notices to the central and the Maharashtra governments as well as to East India Hotels Ltd and Indian Hotels Co Ltd, which own Hotel Oberoi Trident and Taj Mahal Palace & Towers in Mumbai respectively, which terrorists stormed last year.
The lawsuit was filed by Marine Drive residents Sarla S. Parekh and Sevanti Parekh and Malabar Hill residents Vijay Kumar Motilal Agarwal and Srichand D. Chabaria.
The Parekhs lost their son Sunil and daughter-in-law Reshma in the savagery blamed on terrorists who sneaked into Mumbai after sailing from Pakistan. The terrorists fired randomly in both hotels and also killed guests in some hotel rooms.
Agrawal lost his son Sanjay and his wife Rita, while Chabaria too lost his son Ajit and daughter in-law Monica. All of them died in Hotel Oberoi.
While some of the victims are survived by minor children, others are survived by children in their early 20s.
The four Mumbaikars moved the apex court for mandatory provisions for proper security measures inside hotel premises besides other public places, invoking article 32 of the Indian constitution, which entitles any citizen of this country to directly approach the apex court in case of violation or threat to their fundamental rights like right to life.
“The government of India is under a constitutional obligation to protect the life and liberty of the people of India and by failing to frame adequate and proper regulatory framework for security measures within hotel premises, it has failed to protect the life of many persons staying inside the two hotels on the fateful days,” said the petitioners.
The petitioners said that terrorists have now chosen hotels as a soft target, realizing they have no security measures worth the name. They sought a comprehensive legal framework for security in hotel premises.
Citing examples of the security framework in hotels abroad, specially in the US, the petitioners argued that the time had come to enact similar laws in India.
The petitioners also sought proper laws to ensure adequate insurance cover for the hotel guests.
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Tags: adequate security measures, ajit, apex court, constitutional obligation, falling victim, hill residents, hotel guests, hotel oberoi, hotel premises, hotel security, indian constitution, k g balakrishnan, malabar hill, motilal, parekh, proper security, reshma, savagery, vijay kumar, wife rita