The Bombay High Court on Friday reserved the order in the public interest litigation alleging that the Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal had links with the underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. The PIL was filed by M Furquan, editor of Urdu newspaper alleging that funds for Jet Airways was given by Dawood.
JPS Verma, deputy secretary to the Union Home Ministry who was present in the court told the division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Ranjana Desai that they had examined the allegations twice in the past after they received some unsigned letters. "However, there is no nexus found," said Verma.
Counsel for Jet Airways, Harish Salve, argued that it was an offence under the criminal law and inquiry should be conducted into how the official letters were leaked. Furquan has attached a letter written by Anjan Ghosh, Joint director of IB to Sangeeta Gairola, joint secretary, ministry of home affairs in December 2001.
The letter states, "We have confirmed information of intermitten contact between Naresh Goyal and underworld Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel to settle financial issues."
"There is strong suspicion that part of Naresh Goyal’s investment may have occurred through the assistance of underworld group prominently headed by Dawood and Shakeel," adds the letter.
After the statement made by Verma, the court remarked that the allegations were found to be incorrect and the ministry has found no material against Goyal.
However, Furquan pressed that the government had not shown what investigations it had done.
"Allegations of such severity should be made with more sense. Where have you said as to where you get this letter from – from the department or some official," remarked CJ.
Harish Salve, appearing for Naresh Goyal argued that the petitioner has no material in his possession to prove the allegations. The petitioner's advocate on the other side claimed that since the funds are provided by the underworld, it is obvious that the airline will be used for illegal purposes.