Deposit Rs 18,000 Crore and You’re Free to Go Abroad: Delhi HC to Jet Airways Founder Naresh GoyalJuly 10, 2019 12:09
(Image source from: NDTV.com)
A Delhi High Court on Tuesday turned down the plea to allow Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal to step out of India and sought response of the Centre on his appeal challenging a Look Out Circular (LOC) issued against him.
Justice Suresh Kait said no interim relief can be granted to Goyal at this stage and added that he may deposit Rs 18,000 crore guarantee if he wants to travel to a foreign country now.
Goyal alleged he got to know about the LOC on May 25 when he and his wife Anita Goyal were off-loaded from a flight to Dubai with an onward connection to London.
The further hearing on the matter has been put up on August 23 by High Court.
Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Goyal, contended that on May 25 when the couple was de-boarded there was no material to show any attempt to escape from the investigation and they were (Non-Resident Indians) NRIs and required to go overseas for a certain period of time.
Singh said till the time Goyal filed the petition in the high court, there was no case against him but on July 6 when the matter appeared for the hearing, he received summon from the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to appear before it on July 10 and join investigations.
He added that Goyal also wanted to go to Dubai and London for the purpose of arranging funds for the Jet group which was facing financial crisis.
The appeal was opposed by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Acharya and central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul, saying it is an earnest fraud of Rs 18,000 crore and the investigation was going on by the SFIO.
The government counsel said Goyal must join the investigation and sought time to file a response to his petition. According to Goyal's plea, the LOC was issued against him on the request of the SFIO which comes under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
He has sought quashing of the LOC as well as several office memorandums which lay down the guidelines for issuing the travel ban.
According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the LOC was put out after a probe by the ministry found large-scale irregularities at Jet Airways, which closed its operations in April as a result of an acute cash crunch.
Naresh and Anita Goyal had resigned from the board of Jet Airways, which the former founded 26 years ago, in March following a debt restructuring plan.
He had also resigned as the airline's chairman. Jet Airways is subjected to insolvency legal proceedings. In the meantime, the ministry has also ordered a probe by SFIO into the affairs of Jet Airways.
By Sowmya Sangam