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26/11 UK victim to file case in London court

world Updated: Nov 26, 2013 10:43 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar

A British man paralysed during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks will go to the High Court here on December 2 to argue against an alleged attempt by the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel to prevent his case against them being heard in a UK court.

Will Pike, 33, from North London, is taking legal action against the Indian Hotels Company Ltd, a part of the Tata Group. Pike was paralysed when he fell nearly 50 feet, breaking his back, pelvis and leg and fracturing both his left wrist and right elbow in a bid to escape the terrorists as they went through the hotel shooting residents and setting fires.

Leigh Day, his London-based lawyers, are bringing a civil claim for damages against the Indian Hotels Company Ltd. They allege the owners of the hotel did little to provide security for residents despite several warnings that an attack on the hotel was imminent.

Pike’s lawyers argue that the case should be heard in the UK, where Pike lives and where the Indian Hotels Company has a substantial business presence, based around the Crowne Plaza London St James’ Hotel and the Taj Suites.

Pike’s lawyer, Russell Levy said: “Pike’s only real hope of seeing justice is in a UK Court. The court in Mumbai simply isn’t geared up to deal with a claim of this kind. We estimate that it would take up to 25 years to pursue this claim through the Indian Courts rather than in England, where it will take about two years”. When contacted, Taj Hotels spokesperson said, “the matter is subjudice and we can’t comment.”