Bombay HC directs ED to file affidavit in response to Naresh Goyal's plea

Bombay HC directs ED to file affidavit in response to Naresh Goyal's plea

On Wednesday, the Bombay High Court directed the Enforcement Directorate to file its affidavit in response to Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal's plea challenging his 'illegal' arrest in a money laundering case linked to bank loan default.

In his plea, Goyal said his arrest was illegal because it was done without following provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and also challenged rulings of a special court that had sent him to ED custody first and then to jail under judicial remand.

When the plea was taken up for hearing on Wednesday by the HC, advocate Hiten Venegaonkar, appearing for the central agency, sought time to file their reply affidavit.

As senior counsel, Amit Desai, appearing for the 74-year-old businessman, urged the court to grant a short date for hearing and pointed to his client's advanced age.

A Division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Gauri Godse said today it has to give the other side time to respond.

Justice Dere said that the case was brought to the court by a judge who had ruled that the case was inadmissible.

The bench posted the matter for hearing on October 6 by when the financial crime-fighting agency has to file it affidavit.

Goyal is currently in a psychiatric detention and resides in Arthur Road Jail, Mumbai, after arrest in the case involving an alleged fraud of Rs 538 crore at Canara Bank.

A septuagenarian businessman, who once operated India's top private airline, was arrested by the ED on 1 September and produced before a special court which remanded him to custody of the central agency until 14 September.

On September 14, he was remanded to judicial custody for two weeks.

Goyal, in his plea, said his arrest was arbitrary, unwarranted and done without the ED following proper procedure. He did not want to be released immediately, saying he was determined to be released from prison.

The case involves the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against Jet Airways, Goyal, his wife Anita and some former company executives of the now-defunct airline in connection with thealleged fraud by Canara Bank.

The FIR was registered on the bank's complaint which claimed that it sanctioned credit limits and loans to Jet Airways Ltd to the tune of Rs 848.86 crore of which Rs 538.62 crore was outstanding.