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Bombay HC quashes ED’s ECIR against Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, wife


The Bombay high court on Thursday quashed the enforcement case information report (ECIR) lodged by the enforcement directorate (ED) in the money laundering case against Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita.

The ED had filed the ECIR in 2020 following an FIR by Mumbai police on the complaint of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy by Akbar Travels.

The division bench of justice Revati Mohite Dere and justice Prithviraj Chavan which had heard the application of the Goyals seeking quashing of the ECIR was informed by senior advocates Ravi Kadam and Aabad Ponda instructed by Naik Naik & Co that as the magistrate had accepted the closure report by the police in 2020, the ECIR could not be sustained and hence the same should be quashed.

Also Read: Ex-Jet chairman Naresh Goyal, wife offloaded from flight to London

The counsels had submitted that in light of the closure of the predicate offence, the central agency should be restrained from conducting further investigation based on the ECIR. They also sought that no coercive steps should be taken against the Goyals in respect of the said ECIR.

The bench was further informed that the case registered by MRA Marg police station was closed and the protest plea, opposing the closure, filed by the ED was rejected.

The counsels had submitted that the said order was confirmed by the high court and the Supreme Court, and hence, the ECIR should be quashed and set aside.

However, advocate Shreeram Shirsat representing the ED had opposed the application and argued that the ECIR cannot be quashed since it is an internal document unlike an FIR.

After the counsels for Goyals cited various SC and HC judgements to show that once cases against predicate offences were closed, no further investigation could be sustained, the bench accepted the submissions and passed its verdict on Thursday.

In 2020, Akbar Travels claimed that it had suffered losses of over ₹46 crore after Jet Airways began cancelling flight operations in October 2018.

The police had booked the Goyals on charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery.

Thereafter, in March 2020, the police filed a C-summary report stating that the dispute was of a civil nature and it had not found any substance in the criminal complaint, hence the investigation against Jet Airways and the Goyals was being closed.

The metropolitan magistrate court accepted the closure report in December 2020 after which Akbar Travels filed a criminal revision application in the sessions court.

Though the revision application had claimed that the police had not carried out a thorough investigation and had failed to gather incriminating evidence and the investigation had been closed in 19 days, the sessions court dismissed the application by Akbar Travels in August 2021.


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