Delhi HC seeks Centre’s response on Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal’s plea against LOC
The Delhi High Court has refused to grant an interim stay on the lookout circular issued against Naresh Goyal, former Chairman and promoter of cash-strapped Jet Airways. The court has sought the Centre’s response on a plea filed by Goyal against the circular.
While denying interim relief, Justice Suresh Kait said Goyal may deposit ₹18,000 crore as guarantee if he wants to go overseas. The court was informed by the Centre that it is a fraud involving ₹18,000 crore and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is probing it.
Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal have been told not to leave the country till further notice.
In May, the duo were deboarded from an Emirates flight to London from Mumbai via Dubai. Just when the flight was ready to take off, it was was called back, and the Goyals were deboarded and escorted by immigration officials.
“Goyal was not detained or arrested,” a senior police official said. “There was only a ‘not to fly out’ notice against them. There is no FIR against the duo. They were escorted back to their residence.”
Goyal, in his plea to the court, said he was not informed about the lookout circular and came to know of it only on May 25, when he was deboarded from the Emirates flight.
Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Goyal, argued that when the couple were deboarded, there was no material to show any attempt to evade the investigation. They are NRIs and required to go abroad for a certain period, he said.
He added that Goyal also wanted to visit Dubai and London to arrange funds for Jet Airways, which is facing a financial crisis. The court said Goyal must be having some good friends abroad from whom he can get the money transferred through RTGS.
The plea was opposed by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Acharya and the Centre’s standing counsel Ajay Digpaul. The High Court asked the ministries of Home Affairs, Corporate Affairs and Law and Justice to file their responses within four weeks. It put up the matter for further hearing on August 23