HC relief for Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, wife

Published on Jan 25, 2023 01:07 AM IST

The order was passed by the division bench of justice Revati Mohite-Dere and justice Prithviraj Chavan on January 17 while hearing the plea by the Goyals seeking to quash the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) registered by ED.

In the FIR registered in 2020, Akbar Travels claimed that it had suffered losses of over <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>46 crore after Jet Airways began cancelling flight operations in October 2018. The police had booked the Goyals on charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery. (REUTERS)
In the FIR registered in 2020, Akbar Travels claimed that it had suffered losses of over 46 crore after Jet Airways began cancelling flight operations in October 2018. The police had booked the Goyals on charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery. (REUTERS)
ByK A Y Dodhiya

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has restrained the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from taking any coercive action till January 31 against Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal in a money laundering case registered against them.

The order was passed by the division bench of justice Revati Mohite-Dere and justice Prithviraj Chavan on January 17 while hearing the plea by the Goyals seeking to quash the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) registered by ED.

Following the complaint lodged by Akbar Travels, a travel agency, against Jet Airways, the MRA Marg police station registered an FIR against the Goyals. Thereafter, in February 2020 the ED took cognisance of the complaint and registered the ECIR against them. However, in 2021, the Mumbai police filed a closure report in the cheating case against the Goyals and the court concerned accepted the closure report and closed the case, despite ED opposing the closure.

Given the closure of the predicate offence, senior advocates Ravi Kadam and Aabad Ponda representing the Goyals sought interim relief by directing the ED not to conduct a further investigation based on the ECIR. They also sought that no coercive steps should be taken against the Goyals in respect of the said ECIR.

The senior counsels contended that the ECIR was not sustainable as there was no predicate offence for the ED to investigate as the case registered by the MRA Marg police station was closed and the protest plea, opposing the closure, filed by the ED was rejected. The counsels informed the bench that the said order was confirmed by the HC and the Supreme Court, and hence, the ECIR should be quashed and set aside.

However, in light of past judgements of the Supreme Court, advocate Shreeram Shirsat representing the ED opposed the plea and sought time to respond to the petitions, which the court accepted. The HC however restrained the ED from taking any coercive steps against the petitioners in respect of the said ECIR and posted the hearing of the petitions to January 31.

In the FIR registered in 2020, Akbar Travels claimed that it had suffered losses of over 46 crore after Jet Airways began cancelling flight operations in October 2018. The police had booked the Goyals on charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery.

Thereafter, in March 2020, the police filed a C-summary report stating that the dispute was of a civil nature and it had not found any substance in the criminal complaint, hence the investigation against Jet Airways and the Goyals was being closed. The metropolitan magistrate court accepted the closure report in December 2020 after which Akbar Travels filed a criminal revision application in the sessions court.

Though the revision application had claimed that the police had not carried out a thorough investigation and had failed to gather incriminating evidence and the investigation had been closed in 19 days, the sessions court dismissed the application by Akbar Travels in August 2021.

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