SC: Hotel liable for vehicle theft from parking

The Supreme Court of India has ruled that hotels will be held liable in case a vehicle is stolen from their parking lots.

The court said that the hotel will be liable and cannot deny compensation to its guests where the hotel or its staff are involved in or have acted negligently in safeguarding the vehicles delivered for valet parking. The court also said that the hotels cannot brush aside their responsibility by highlighting the ‘owner’s risk’ clause.

However, the court also mentioned that the hotels will not be held liable for the guest’s own negligence or circumstances that are beyond the control of the hotel authorities. These might include damage due to weather conditions, inherent defects in the vehicle or seizure of the vehicle by public authorities, among others.

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