Rs.5 crore damages for Australian challenged

New Delhi : India Tourism Development Corp Ltd. (ITDC) moved the Delhi High Court against its order granting nearly Rs.5 crore damages to an Australian woman who was paralysed after slipping in a swimming pool in the company’s hotel here 33 years ago.

A division bench headed by Justice Vikramajit Sen issued notice to Australian Susan Leigh Beer seeking her response by Sep 28.

Susan was 18 years old when she slipped on the dirty floor of the swimming pool in Akbar Hotel after she jumped into its shallow end. She received a massive gash on the head and was paralysed for life.

ITDC in its petition stated that Susan’s doctor established that it was a case of diving and not jumping into the pool.

She was herself negligent as the depth of the pool on the shallow end was clearly indicated and was visible, ITDC said claiming that the pool was properly maintained.

Holding ITDC, which managed the hotel, guilty of negligence, the court March 2 said: “Susan was entitled to a decree in the sum of Rs.1.82 crore along with simple interest thereon at the rate of six per cent per annum with effect from Jan 22,1982, till the date of the decree and future simple interest on the said amount at the rate of 10 per cent per annum till its realisation (a figure which comes to roughly Rs.5 crore)”.

Susan, who was a member of Queensland women’s polo team, had come to India on a holiday along with her parents and brother. (IANS)