Jet Airways Founder Naresh Goyal Withdraws Plea to Travel Abroad
The Central government’s Standing Counsel told the court that Goyal was not cooperating in the investigation.
The Delhi High Court on Friday, 23 August, allowed Naresh Goyal, the founder of the now-grounded Jet Airways, to withdraw his petition for permission to travel abroad.
Justice Navin Chawla said the plea is “dismissed as withdrawn”.
In a fresh application to the court, Goyal said the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has started its probe into a case of alleged fraud of Rs 18,000 crore and he was extending full cooperation to the agency in the investigation and accordingly, was not pressing for the permission to go abroad at this stage.
The Central government’s Standing Counsel Ajay Digpaul, however, told the court that Goyal was not cooperating in the investigation.
Besides seeking permission to travel outside India, Goyal had also challenged a look out circular (LOC) issued against him on the ground that as on 25 May, when he was offloaded from a flight to Dubai, no ECIR/FIR was registered against him.
In his plea, Goyal said he came to know of the LOC on 25 May when he and his wife Anita were off-loaded from a flight to Dubai with an onward connection to London.
He said when he had filed the petition in July, he was in an urgent need to travel abroad and thereafter, he received summons from SFIO for recording of statement regarding the investigation which has been initiated.
"The petitioner (Goyal) is participating and fully cooperating in the investigation and has appeared before the authorities on three occasions.
"As the investigation has commenced and since the petitioner is extending full cooperation, he is not pressing the present writ petition at this stage for permission to travel outside India," it said, adding he be given liberty to avail appropriate remedies in future.
Earlier, when Goyal had moved court seeking permission to go abroad, the judge had observed that if he wanted to go abroad, he should first deposit Rs 18,000 crore as guarantee that his company owes to lenders.
Denying him permission to fly abroad, the court had sought the Centre's reply to his plea.
The court was informed by the Centre that it was a serious fraud involving Rs 18,000 crore and the investigation was being carried out by the SFIO.
Goyal 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 issued after the ministry found in an inspection large-scale irregularities in Jet Airways, which shut its operations in April due to acute cash crunch.
The ministry, subsequently, ordered a probe by the SFIO into the affairs of Jet Airways.
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 facing insolvency proceedings.
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