Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) to file its reply in a plea by Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, 74, challenging his arrest and his remand terming the same as “unwarranted, arbitrary and illegal”.
The ED arrested him on September 1 in an alleged money laundering case related to ₹538 crore fraud with Canara Bank.
Goyal’s counsel Amit Desai said that he should be granted relief of interim bail pending hearing of the plea. To this, a division bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Gauri Godse said that he can file a separate bail application.
ED seeks 2-weeks time to fil ile reply to Goyal's plea
The HC was hearing Goyal’s plea which claimed that the arrest violated his fundamental right to personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. ED’s advocate Hiten Venegaonkar sought two weeks’ time to file reply to the plea after which he said the court could finally hear Goyal’s plea.
When Desai sought an early hearing of the plea citing Goyal’s age, the bench responded that it has to grant time to the investigating agency to respond. “We have to give them time. How can we pass an order? We will give them (ED) two weeks to file an affidavit in reply,” it said.
The HC kept Goyal’s plea for hearing on October 6 and said that meanwhile, he can file a bail plea.
Goyal had approached the high court on September 14, a day after the special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act remanded to judicial custody till September 29.
The Canara Bank defrauding case
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered an FIR on May 3 following a complaint by the Canara Bank alleging offences of cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust by Jet Airways (India) Lt and Goyal in connivance with other accused to siphon of bank funds to the tune of ₹538 crores.
The ED registered its case based on the CBI FIR. The ED case involves a large number of banking transactions with high-value cash withdrawals from funds related to loans obtained by the accused.