26/11 victim moves London High Court

DC
Published Nov 26, 2013, 1:34 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 8:21 pm IST
Case against Taj hotel ahead of 5-year anniversary of terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
London based Will Pike, 33-year-old freelance filmmaker, was caught in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks with his then girlfriend Kelly Doyle.
 London based Will Pike, 33-year-old freelance filmmaker, was caught in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks with his then girlfriend Kelly Doyle.

New Delhi: A Briton, who was critically injured in the terror attacks on the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai in November 2008, has launched legal action in London against the Tata Group while the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks will be marked on Tuesday.

London-based Will Pike, 33-year-old freelance filmmaker, was caught in the Mumbai terror attacks with his then girlfriend Kelly Doyle.

 

Pike became a paraplegic after he fell 50 feet from his third floor room in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel while trying to escape the terrorist siege. He was one of the eight Britons to be injured in the terror attacks.

Pike, who injured his spinal cord and broke his arms, pelvis and left leg, will go to the London high court on December 2 to argue against an attempt by the Indian Hotels Company Ltd, the owners of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel to prevent his legal case against them being heard in a UK court.

Pike, represented by London-based lawyers Leigh Day, is bringing a civil claim for damages against the Indian Hotels Company Ltd.

 

He has alleged the owners of the hotel did little to provide security for residents despite several warnings that an attack on the hotel was imminent.

He wants the case to be heard in London, where he lives and where the Indian Hotels Company Ltd has a substantial business presence, based around the Crowne Plaza London St James’ Hotel and the Taj Suites just a stone’s throw from Buc-kingham Palace, according to Leigh Day.

“Mr 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,” according to Pike’s lawyer, Russell Levy, who is a partner at Leigh Day.

 

“It is simply not right that this billion dollar corporate giant wants to drag our wheelchair-bound client back to India and take him through a legal system where the ‘inequality of arms’ would be significant.”

Pike, who is now confined to a wheelchair, said, “My aim in taking this legal action is to pay for the life long care I now need and to help other victims of terrorist attacks abroad, including those in the Westgate terrorist attacks, who may need to take similar action.”

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