Delhi HC refuses to allow Jet Airways founder to travel abroad

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to allow Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal to leave India observing that he should first deposit ₹18,000 crore the cash-strapped airlines owes to its lenders if he wants to go abroad. No interim relief can be granted to Naresh Goyal at this stage, Justice Suresh Kait said. “If you are ready to deposit Rs 18,000 crore bank guarantee, you can go abroad” he said. Justice Suresh Kait, however, sought the Centre’s response on Mr. Goyal’s plea challenging a look-out circular (LOC) issued against him. Mr. Goyal and his wife were offloaded from a flight to Dubai on May 25 based on a LOC issued in his name which was reportedly issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs at the request of Serious Fraud Investigation Office.

Delhi HC refuses to allow Jet Airways founder to travel abroad

This event was a foreseen one because Jet Airways, whose chairman was Mr.Naresh Goyal, was forced to ground its fleet due to cash crunch. This all started a year back on May 2018 when Jet Airways faced a huge and unexpected loss of Rs 1,036 crore in the fourth quarter and Rs 1,323 crore in the first quarter of financial year 2018.

Increase in the fuel cost by 53%, lack of management, one man leading the company without any professionals and huge debt of almost Rs 3000crore, non-cooperation from pilots and other staff,refusal of lending funds by investors, can be the reasons for this crisis to took place which lead to temporary shutdown of the airlines on April 2019

Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Naresh Goyal, argued that on May 25 when the couple was de-boarded there was no material to show any attempt to evade the investigation and they were NRIs and required to go abroad for a certain period.

“A restriction on Goyal’s ability to travel abroad could result in him losing his NRI status. Moreover, on account of his NRI status, Goyal holds a UK residence visa and a UAE residence permit, which are due for renewal on July 10, 2019 and July 23, 2019 respectively, and therefore, he needs to urgently travel to UK and UAE before the respective dates to retain his NRI status and the visa/permit,” the plea said.

The High Court has posted the case for August 23.