Jet Airways founder giving ‘evasive answers’, further confrontation necessary: Court

by The Technical Blogs


The PMLA court in Mumbai observed on Monday that Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a Rs 538 Crore bank fraud scam, was deliberately avoiding clear answers to specific questions. The court agreed with the Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s contention that Goyal should be interrogated further and extended his custody.

“Careful perusal of the statements of the accused indicates that the accused has given some evasive answers to the peculiar questions when the facts relating to it are exclusively within his knowledge,” the court noted.

The Enforcement Directorate, which arrested Goyal on September 1, presented him before the PMLA court on Monday as his previous ED custody remand had ended.

According to the ED, Goyal took Rs 538 Crore from a consortium of banks for a specific purpose but did not utilise it for that purpose, instead using it for personal gain and needs. It is also alleged that properties were purchased abroad with the proceeds of crime (POC).

“”The accused alone knows the details thereof, so unless he cooperates, the investigation cannot reach the end use of the said POC,” the judge stated while acknowledging that the previous ED custody remand had been properly utilised by the agency.

The judge also noted, “The statements of accused indicate that he has avoided providing details of all his bank accounts in India and abroad, details of movable and immovable properties in India and abroad. When he was interrogated on these details, he referred the name of Hasmukh Gardi, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) resident and whom he had given power of attorney. Therefore, confrontation of the said person with the accused is necessary and ED has taken active steps for the same.”

The ED argued that Goyal had established various trusts abroad through which he purchased various immovable properties. Acknowledging this, the court stated, “The funds for these trusts essentially constitute the proceeds of the crime that were syphoned off from India to abroad. Although he did not provide these details, he referred to Dilip Thakkar, whom the ED intends to examine and confront with the accused.”

Active steps have been taken for this, and Dilip Thakkar is scheduled to appear on September 14, the judge added.

While Goyal had denied any involvement in approving exorbitant bills from professionals and advocates who worked for him, those who worked for him confirmed his role, and Goyal needed to be confronted with these statements and bills, the ED argued.

The probe agency also stated that its investigation revealed that Goyal personally oversaw negotiations for the Boeing purchase while his company appointed various General Sales Agents (GSA) worldwide, from whom they received commissions. Goyal’s relatives were in charge of these GSAs. The details regarding this are yet to be obtained from the accused, according to the ED.

Recognising that rejecting the ED’s plea would paralyse the probe, the court extended Goyal’s custody until September 14.

Goyal raises health issues

The 74-year-old businessman informed the court that his health condition was poor and that his body ached.

“I can’t move my shoulder or knee… I cried the whole night and could die because of this situation. I would like to be admitted to a hospital,” an emotional Goyal told the judge with folded hands.

Considering Goyal’s multiple ailments, the court directed the central agency to allow him to carry all his prescribed medicines and also instructed the ED to respond promptly if the accused complained of any health issues.

Furthermore, the ED was directed to provide Goyal with suitable bedding tailored to his health and orthopedic issues, along with a cervical pillow. The court permitted Goyal to have home-cooked food on a daily basis, taking into account his health and medical conditions.”

Published On:

Sep 12, 2023


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