Mumbai, December 22: A day after the Bombay High Court rejected a petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) opposing closure of a cheating case against now-defunct Jet Airways and its directors Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita, the metropolitan magistrate court on Tuesday closed the case by accepting the closure report filed by the Mumbai police.
The MRA Marg police had filed the closure report on November 9 after probing the complaint filed by Rajendran Neruparambil, chief financial officer (CFO) of Akbar Travels of India Pvt Ltd (ATIPL), against Jet Airways and the Goyals, the Hindustan Times reported.
Neruparambil had alleged that in 2018-19, Jet Airways owed ATIPL payment of Rs 46.05 crore. He further alleged Goyals’ had engaged ATIPL in business despite being aware of the financial crisis faced by the airline, which shut down operations in April 2019, and had accumulated debt of nearly Rs 8,500 crore.
Jet Airways, Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita were booked on charges of cheating and a criminal breach of trust in February this year by the MRA Marg police.
It was on the basis of the MRA Marg case that ED had initiated the probe into money laundering allegations against the Goyals’.
Neither the magistrate court nor the sessions court allowed the ED to intervene in the case to oppose its closure. On Monday, the high court said: “The petitioner, ED, is an independent investigating agency, empowered to investigate offences under the PMLA and FEMA and in the facts cannot be termed as a victim or aggrieved/injured/person interested in the case.”
“There is no provision in law which supports the claim of petitioner with respect to its locus to intervene and contest the closure report filed by the respondent No.1- State. Thus, the petitioner cannot be permitted to intervene and contest in the closure report filed by the respondent No.1-State,” the high court said while rejecting the ED’s plea.
ATIPL’s lawyer, advocate Dharmesh Joshi, said he would appeal against the order.
The ED is conducting a probe against the Goyals and the defunct airline under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and Foreign Exchange Management Act.