Jet Airways founder Goyal seeks bail in bank fraud case, says ED allegations against him false

Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, an accused in an alleged fraud of Rs 538 crore at state-run Canara Bank who is in jail for nearly three months, on Friday moved an application before a special court here seeking bail in the case.

The court has asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED), probing the case, to file its reply to Goyal’s plea by December 20.

The 74-year-old businessman, in his plea seeking relief, has cited multiple health ailments like heart condition, prostate, orthopaedic-related issues, among others and claimed there are reasonable grounds to believe he “is not guilty”.

The entire investigation has been carried out only with the intention to allege and project siphoning (of funds) by the applicant for his personal benefits, said the plea filed before special PMLA court Judge M G Deshpande.

From reading the complaint, it is more than clear that “false allegations have been made by the ED solely with a mala fide intention of projecting a negative image of Goyal”, it said.

The ED arrested Goyal on September 1 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) following a long session of questioning.

He is currently in judicial custody and lodged at Arthur Road Jail in central Mumbai.

The money laundering case stems from an FIR of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Jet Airways, Goyal, his wife Anita and some former executives of the now grounded private carrier in connection with an alleged Rs 538-crore fraud case at Canara Bank.

The FIR (first information report) was registered on the government-run bank’s complaint which alleged it sanctioned credit limits and loans to Jet Airways (India) Ltd to the tune of Rs 848.86 crore of which Rs 538.62 crore was outstanding.

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