Deposit Rs. 18,000cr to travel abroad: Court tells Naresh Goyal
Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, who failed to steer his company from an acute cash crunch, received another setback on Tuesday as Delhi High Court refused to entertain his plea challenging the travel ban imposed on him. Justice Suresh Kait told Goyal that if he wants to travel abroad, he can do so by depositing Rs. 18,000 crore. Read on for more details.
Backstory: Goyal and his wife were offloaded from flight
To recall, Goyal and his wife Anita were offloaded from a flight to Dubai, having an onward connection to London, in May. The former power couple of India's aviation industry was de-boarded after a Look-Out-Circular (LOC) was issued against him. According to reports, the flight Goyal and Anita were on, had started taxing when it was called back.
In court, Goyal's lawyer claimed he wasn't running from investigation
Notably, the LOC was issued by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO). In his plea, Goyal claimed the LOC was without any basis and was "bad in law". Appearing for Goyal, senior advocate Maninder Singh said there was no evidence to show he was planning to evade investigation. He claimed as NRIs, Goyal and Anita needed to go abroad for some time.
Goyal was going to Dubai to arrange funds, claimed lawyer
Further, Singh underscored that there was no case against Goyal when he knocked on High Court's doors challenging the LOC. However, on July 6, he received a summon from SFIO asking him to participate in probe on July 10. Singh also claimed that Goyal was going to Dubai, and then London, to arrange funds for Jet Airways, which was grounded in April.
Separately, Centre's counsel said Goyal should join probe
Goyal's plea was opposed by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Acharya and Ajay Digpaul, the standing counsel of Centre. They reminded that SFIO was investigating a serious fraud which is why Goyal shouldn't be allowed to leave the country. Instead, he should join the investigation. Meanwhile, Digpaul sought time to file a response on Goyal's petition. The court posted the matter for August 23.
Meanwhile, banks filed bankruptcy plea against Jet
Jet, which had been struggling to stay afloat for years, is buried under a debt of Rs 14,000 crore. It owes money to employees, banks, and other lenders. The Mumbai bench of National Company Law Tribunal is already hearing a bankruptcy plea filed against Jet by several banks, led by SBI. Notably, SBI lent the maximum amount of money to Jet.