MUMBAI: The dramatic unraveling of Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal continues as the special PMLA court has sentenced the 74-year-old to a 14-day judicial custody. Subsequent to the court’s order, Goyal was relocated to the city’s famed Arthur Road jail. The business magnate’s arrest stems from accusations of a colossal loan fraud targeting Canara Bank, amounting to Rs 538 crore.
On Thursday morning, Goyal faced the special PMLA court once his Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody duration reached its culmination. As the agency presented him, they solicited his judicial custody, to which the court granted its approval.
Goyal’s Health Plea
With the court’s verdict hovering over him, Goyal fervently filed multiple pleas. He ardently implored the court to permit daily medical check-ups from his personal medical team. Citing medical emergencies, Goyal recounted an incident on September 13th, where he was rushed to JJ Hospital, post-experiencing dizziness and discomfort. Medical evaluation pinpointed a worryingly low heart rate, further exacerbating his existing health concerns – a history marred with heart diseases and a past bypass surgery. This makes Goyal particularly susceptible to cardiac emergencies.
Adding to his plea, he disclosed that he harbors an 80% blockage in his primary left artery. The septuagenarian also highlighted his ongoing battle with depression, stressing the necessity for consistent medical oversight. He further requested daily family visits, underscoring his wife’s battle with cancer. The court, while awaiting responses to his pleas from prison officials and the ED, permitted Goyal home-cooked meals based on a dietary prescription.
The Depth of the Allegations
Goyal’s arrest was a culmination of allegations suggesting fraudulent activities by him and Jet Airways, centered on defrauding Canara Bank.
The ED has shed light on additional layers of this financial maze. They claim Jet Airways secured loans from a ten-bank consortium to bolster their operations between 2011 and 2019. An alarming Rs 6,000 crore of this loan remains unpaid. A forensic audit has unearthed questionable financial activities, including a Rs 1,152 crore diversion under the pretense of consultancy and professional fees. Furthermore, Rs 2,547.83 crore was rerouted to an affiliated entity, Jet Lite Limited (JLL), ostensibly to clear its loans. This amount was later written off from Jet Airways’ records. In another revelation, the ED disclosed a payment of around Rs 9.46 crore to Goyal’s family and household staff.
In the wake of the Rs 538-crore loan fraud allegations, Jet Airways’ founder Naresh Goyal finds himself ensnared in legal proceedings, with the court consigning him to a 14-day judicial custody. As the ED delves deeper into the financial intricacies of the case, Goyal’s pleas center around his health and family concerns. The ongoing investigation and Goyal’s subsequent arrest underline the gravity of financial malpractices within corporate echelons.
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