Goyal travel terms: Rs 18000-crore surety

'No interim relief can be granted to Goyal at this stage'

  • Published 10.07.19, 12:41 AM
  • Updated 10.07.19, 12:41 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal (PTI file picture)

The Delhi high court has refused to allow Naresh Goyal, founder of Jet Airways, to go abroad unless he furnishes guarantees worth Rs 18,000 crore — the sum his company owes to lenders.

No interim relief can be granted to Goyal at this stage, Justice Suresh Kait said. “If you are ready to deposit Rs 18,000 crore as bank guarantee, you can go abroad.”

The high court, however, sought the Centre’s reply on his plea challenging a lookout circular issued against him.

The court was hearing Goyal’s plea challenging the circular. In his submission to the court, Goyal said no case had been registered against him when he was asked to get off a plane which was about to leave for Dubai from Mumbai on May 25.

Goyal said he came to know of the notice on May 25 only when he and his wife Anita were off-loaded from the flight to Dubai with an onward connection to London.

The high court asked the ministries of home affairs, corporate affairs and law and justice to file their responses within four weeks. It put the matter up for further hearing on August 23.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Goyal, argued that on May 25 when the couple was de-boarded there was no material to show any attempt to evade the investigation. They were NRIs and required to go abroad for a certain period.

Singh said till the time Goyal filed the petition in the high court, there was no case against him but on July 6 when the matter came up for hearing, he received summons from the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to appear before it on July 10 and join the investigation.

He added that Goyal wanted to go to Dubai and London to arrange funds for the Jet group, which was facing a financial crisis.

“A restriction on Goyal’s ability to travel abroad could result in him losing his NRI status. Moreover, on account of his NRI status, Goyal holds a UK residence visa and an UAE residence permit, which are due for renewal on July 10, 2019 and July 23, 2019, respectively. Therefore, he needs to urgently travel to the UK and the UAE before the respective dates to retain his NRI status and the visa/permit,” the plea said.

The plea was opposed by additional solicitor general Maninder Acharya and the central government’s standing counsel Ajay Digpaul, saying it was a serious fraud of Rs 18,000 crore and the SFIO was conducting a probe.