Naresh Goyal was uncooperative, slowed investigation: ED to Bombay High Court

The agency made the submission in an affidavit filed to oppose a habeas corpus writ petition filed by the Jet Airways founder challenging his arrest by the ED in connection with a money laundering case.
Naresh Goyal and Bombay High Court
Naresh Goyal and Bombay High Court

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has told the Bombay High Court that it arrested Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal as he had been uncooperative, which in turn slowed the pace of the investigation being conducted by the agency in the money laundering case filed against him.

The agency made the submission in an affidavit, which added that Goyal's attempt at non-cooperation proved his malafide intention to defraud banks.

"Goyal was highly uncooperative, recalcitrant, evasive and suspicious in his statements and conducts and therefore the arrest was made in order to proceed the investigation and trace the trail of the proceeds of crime. His deliberate attempt to non-cooperation and non-submission of documents/ information proved that the loan amounts were embezzled and siphoned off in a piecemeal manner with malafide intention to defraud the banks. Non-cooperation of accused with the investigation had slowed the pace of investigation being conducted by this directorate," the affidavit stated.

The agency filed the affidavit to oppose the habeas corpus writ petition filed by Goyal challenging his arrest.

Goyal was arrested by the ED on September 1 in a case where Goyal had been accused of cheating and misappropriating funds allegedly causing a wrongful loss of ₹538 crores to the Canara Bank.

Goyal claimed in his petition that the orders placing him under ED custody first and judicial custody subsequently were without any application of mind.

Goyal submitted that ED failed to make out any grounds for arrest and that there could have been no reasonable belief on the part of the ED to believe he committed money laundering.

The ED highlighted in its affidavit that the memo of the arrest was duly prepared had been signed by the authorised persons. The grounds for Goyal's arrest had been duly informed and furnished to him and his wife, the ED added.

The affidavit also contended that there was neither any non-compliance with statutory provisions nor was the order of remand passed by the special PMLA court without the judicial application of mind.

The ED added that Goyal's petition was not maintainable as the remand orders were required to be challenged by complying with the statute, and not by invoking the extraordinary jurisdiction of the High Court.

"Habeas Corpus will not be maintainable as when the present writ petition was filed the detention of the petitioner was authorized by the competent court having the jurisdiction to try the case. That the act of granting remand of Goyal is a judicial function and challenge to the same cannot be made by way of writ of Habeas Corpus," the affidavit stated.

The agency further opposed Goyal's plea for interim bail on the ground that he was an influential person who would try to tamper with witnesses and evidence.

"Goyal is a very influential, intelligent and resourceful person the crime was committed by him with full pre-meditation, which ensures that the offence would not be detected. Even if it is detected, the investigation agency cannot trace the evidence," the ED underscored in its affidavit.

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