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Old 17th November 2019, 11:07   #1
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Default Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

I'm not sure if this deserves another thread so the news is posted in this thread

Supreme court of India rules that the Hotels held liable for car theft from its parking and the hotels can't get away with a disclaimer on parking tags about 'Parking at Owner's risk'

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/72090984.cms

"A hotel cannot take the cover of ‘owner’s risk’ clause on parking tokens to deny compensation to its guests for theft or damage to their vehicles once keys are handed over to the valet"

A very good break down of the judgement can be read here
https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/o...ability-149831

What baffles me is this judgement in 2019 pertains to a two decade old case from 1998, for a theft of Maruti Zen from one of the most premium five star hotels in India. Nevertheless, better late than never.

Last edited by camitesh : 17th November 2019 at 11:16. Reason: spelling error corrected
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Old 17th November 2019, 11:19   #2
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Default Re: Thief poses as valet driver - Customer denied insurance

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Originally Posted by camitesh View Post
I'm not sure if this deserves another thread so the news is posted in this thread

Supreme court of India rules that the Hotels held liable for car theft from its parking and the hotels can't get away with a disclaimer on parking tags about 'Parking at Owner's risk'
I would think a separate thread would be apt since this thread is about a car that was stolen by a person who posed as a valet. The establishment may not be directly responsible for someone posing as one of their valets, though best practices could be followed to prevent people from posing as one of them.
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Old 18th November 2019, 09:44   #3
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

Thanks for sharing, Camitesh! Moving this very important update to a new thread .
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Old 18th November 2019, 10:25   #4
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

A sensible & good decision. Its funny how all businesses in general have the full liberty to wash off hands from crimes in their premises around us.

Finally the hotel/resort etc will be liable. They'll have to ensure their staff is properly vetted & reliable. A loss for a patron sure must be borne by the hotel. They should now plan for insurance packages for such scenarios for themselves.

Good to see the end user - us consumers - getting some cover & security for putting trust & faith on someone else while leaving our vehicle in their parking (for their business!).
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Old 18th November 2019, 10:33   #5
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

Wow, Taj fought this case for more than 20 years? They probably spent more in legal fees than what the car was worth. A settlement out of court would definitely have been more sensible and less tedious for both parties. Nevertheless, an important judgement to put the Goliath in its place.
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Old 18th November 2019, 10:48   #6
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

Same will be applicable to Malls? Malls in Mumbai are charging 100 rs for about 8 hours parking and own no liability!
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Old 18th November 2019, 10:57   #7
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

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Wow, Taj fought this case for more than 20 years? They probably spent more in legal fees than what the car was worth. A settlement out of court would definitely have been more sensible and less tedious for both parties. Nevertheless, an important judgement to put the Goliath in its place.
I think they fought to ensure that they are safe from all such future "could be cases". Judgement did not go down their way but I reckon they did not think they could lose.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 18th November 2019 at 11:45. Reason: typo corrected
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Old 18th November 2019, 11:02   #8
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

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Same will be applicable to Malls? Malls in Mumbai are charging 100 rs for about 8 hours parking and own no liability!
I would think that the same judgment would apply to malls as well. Considering they charge for parking, security would also be part of their responsibility, even if they state otherwise.
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Old 18th November 2019, 11:04   #9
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

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I think they fought to ensure that they are safe from all such future "could be cases". Judgement did not go down there way but I reckon they did not think they could lose.
I have zero legal knowledge, but couldn't they have settled out of court and this incident would never have seen the light of day (in court)? I wonder how many cars get stolen from that specific Taj parking space.
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Old 18th November 2019, 11:09   #10
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

Anybody who has the keys of the vehicle must be responsible for the vehicle (the assumption is keys are being handed over legally, either via verbally or in writing). If they lose it, they are liable. They must file a lost complaint, initiate insurance claims. It can be decided in 1 sitting. Why did it take 20 years?

Last edited by msdivy : 18th November 2019 at 11:12.
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Old 18th November 2019, 15:17   #11
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

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A loss for a patron sure must be borne by the hotel. They should now plan for insurance packages for such scenarios for themselves.
No doubt a good decision, but what I also see coming is that we consumers will pay an increased cost of renting out which includes "the car insurance". This has always been the case in India, pass on the cost to the final consumer.
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Old 18th November 2019, 15:20   #12
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

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No doubt a good decision, but what I also see coming is that we consumers will pay an increased cost of renting out which includes "the car insurance". This has always been the case in India, pass on the cost to the final consumer.
In absolutely everything. The cost is finally always borne by you and me . But at least in the event of a loss - there will be cover.
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Old 18th November 2019, 15:49   #13
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
Same will be applicable to Malls? Malls in Mumbai are charging 100 rs for about 8 hours parking and own no liability!
Seriously!!! Just 100 rupees for 8 hours??

Yesterday I paid 255 rupees for a 7 hour parking in on of the malls in Chennai!

A quick question!!

"A hotel cannot take the cover of ‘owner’s risk’ clause on parking tokens to deny compensation to its guests for theft or damage to their vehicles once keys are handed over to the valet"

What happens if the key is not with the Valet, but with us and the car is in the Hotel parking?? Are the Hotel Management still responsible for damage/theft of the vehicle?

Last edited by Pr_007 : 18th November 2019 at 15:53.
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Old 18th November 2019, 16:39   #14
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

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Originally Posted by Pr_007 View Post
What happens if the key is not with the Valet, but with us and the car is in the Hotel parking?? Are the Hotel Management still responsible for damage/theft of the vehicle?
If the keys are with you, technically you are still in the possession of the vehicle.

The damage if any is not going to fall on the hotel.

Of course, things like how you parked/got into the premises/ reason for parking/ vehicle checked in before entering etc etc etc would come in to play to eventually determine responsibility/liability.

Last edited by bigron : 18th November 2019 at 16:43.
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Old 18th November 2019, 18:56   #15
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Default Re: Supreme Court: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

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Originally Posted by bigron View Post
If the keys are with you, technically you are still in the possession of the vehicle.

The damage if any is not going to fall on the hotel.

Of course, things like how you parked/got into the premises/ reason for parking/ vehicle checked in before entering etc etc etc would come in to play to eventually determine responsibility/liability.
If you read the judgement, you will see that the court talks about an implicit agreement between the customer and the hotel when option for valet parking is offered. It further states that the liability is only extinguished when the hotel can prove beyond doubt that the loss/theft did not happen because of negligence on the part of the hotel or its employees.

What is more interesting is, can this logic be extended to pick and drop facility offered by ASS? I remember reading a few posts on Team BHP where the driver from the ASS caused an accident and the owner's insurance was claimed to repair the damage. If we go by this judgement then the ASS would be liable for the damage and should offer to repair.
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