The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking a CBI probe into Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal’s alleged links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Chota Shakeel after the government claimed that various security and intelligence agencies had not found any evidence to prove the allegations.
Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium told the bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan that he had personally looked into the records and documents related to the investigation and found the allegations baseless.
Rejecting the petition by journalist M. Furquan, the bench said the Intelligence Bureau's letter on the basis of which it was filed was baseless and added there was no need to pass any further orders as the petitioner was given sufficient opportunity to take remedial action as per the law.
Furquan’s petition had challenged a Bombay High Court judgment that too had dismissed a public interest litigation seeking investigation into the alleged nexus between Goyal and Dawood Ibrahim. The journalist had sourced his information from a letter, purportedly written by a joint director of the Intelligence Bureau that was published by a weekly magazine. The letter was handed over to the magazine’s by former Civil Aviation Minister Sharad Yadav.
The letter, which was written in 2001, claimed that black and extortion money of Dawoood and Shakeel had been invested in Jet Airways.
Senior counsel Shanti Bhushan submitted on behalf of Furquan that the home ministery had never denied the existence of the letter and yet the government had failed to order a probe to uncover the truth. Jet Airways counsel Harish Salve strongly objected to Bhushan’s arguments and accused the petitioner of scuttling Jet Airways’ growing popularity.
Salve said not only the government but even US security agencies had given a clearance to Jet Airways before permitting them to start a flight to the US.
He said sources of funding for the acquisition of Air Sahara were "legitimate" and added that the allegations that its chairman Naresh Goyal has underworld links were "false". Regarding the money for the acquisition of Air Sahara, Salve submitted that internal funds, including those raised through its IPO in 2005, were used.
Refuting Bhushan’s allegations, Subramanium, however, added that the enquiries under the Foreign Exchange Manitenance Act were still pending.