Sun, 16 Aug 2020

New Delhi [India], Aug 23 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal to withdraw his plea seeking to travel abroad.

Goyal had submitted earlier this month that he was fully cooperating with the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) in the probe into an alleged fraud case of Rs 18,000 crore and was not pressing the petition at this stage.

The Centre had, however, contended that he was not cooperating in the investigation.

Justice Naveen Chawla after hearing the submissions of the counsel allowed Goyal to withdraw his plea.

Goyal had last month contested a Look Out Circular (LOC) against him and said no FIR was registered against him when he and his wife Anita were offloaded on May 25 from a flight to Dubai with an onward connection to London.

Senior advocates Maninder Singh and Vikas Pahwa had appeared before the high court on July 9 on Goyal's behalf and stated that the issuance of the LOC was a violation of his fundamental rightsThe court had, however, refused to stay the LOC and asked the Centre file a reply by August 19.

The circular was issued against Goyal by the SFIO under the Corporate Affairs Ministry after it found several irregularities in Jet Airways, which halted operations in April this year due to acute cash crunch.

On March 25, Goyal, the then Jet Airways chairman, had stepped down from the post. He had set up the airline 25 years ago.

The ministry had earlier asked the SFIO to investigate Jet Airways for alleged siphoning of funds and misappropriation of accounts and file its report within six months.

Goyal has also challenged the several office memoranda issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

The airline, which was suffering bruising competition from low-cost airlines, fluctuating crude prices and a weak rupee, has over one billion dollars in debt. It has to repay money to banks, lessors of planes and suppliers besides clearing pending salaries of pilots and other staff. (ANI)

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