The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and the Maharashtra government on a petition for a direction to frame security guidelines for hotels and other public places to prevent terror attacks like 26/11in Mumbai.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice B.S. Chauhan also issued notice to the East India Hotels Limited, owners of the Oberoi Trident and Indian Hotel Company Limited, and owners of Hotel Taj in Mumbai on the issue of providing adequate compensation to victims of the terror attack.

Earlier, Meenakshi Arora, counsel for petitioners Sarla Parekh, Sevanti Parekh and two others, said there should be some guidelines to ensure the safety of guests and security of hotels. The staff should be trained to meet emergency situations, and all hotels should have public liability insurance to provide compensation to victims of attacks.

The petitioners, who lost their children in the attack on Oberoi hotel, said hotels in India were soft targets for terror strikes as there were no security regulations, and they were not at all bothered about the safety of guests. The time had come for the Centre to ensure that hotels were mandatorily required to design, develop and implement an in-depth, integrated security programme, the petitioners said.

They said that in the absence of a regulation providing for safety requirements in star category hotels, many people lost their lives and others were injured during the Mumbai attacks.

The petitioners sought a direction to the Centre to frame appropriate safety rules and regulations to prevent injury and loss of life in such incidents. They also sought a direction to the respondents to pay adequate compensation to those injured and to the legal heirs of those killed in the 26/11 attacks, and to appoint an experts committee to look into the quantum of compensation payable by the Oberoi and Taj hotels to the legal heirs of the victims.

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