Bombay High Court quashes money laundering case against Jet Airways founder, wife [24.2.2023]

In a huge relief for former Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal, the Bombay High Court on Thursday quashed the Enforcement Directorate (ED)'s case of money laundering against the couple.

The order by a division bench comprising Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Prithviraj Chavan came in a plea filed by the couple seeking to quash the ED's ECIR lodged against them under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The judges quashed the ED's ECIR (February 20, 2020), all the investigations and other proceedings or actions arising out of it on grounds that it was "illegal and contrary to the law".

The ECIR followed an FIR registered by the MRA Marg Police in February 2020 on a criminal complaint filed by Akbar Travels claiming that it had suffered losses of Rs 46 crore after Jet Airways cancelled its flight operations from October 2018.

However, in March 2020, the Mumbai Police had concluded that there was no substance in the criminal complaint and the dispute seemed to be of civil nature.

The Goyals' counsels, Senior Advocates Ravi Kadam and Aabad Ponda, submitted that there was no predicate offence as required for the central probe agency to investigate the ECIR.

The MRA Marg Police had already filed its closure report in the matter, and even the ED's protest plea with the Metropolitan Magistrate Court was rejected, and its order was confirmed by the high court and the Supreme Court, hence the ECIR should be quashed, the counsels argued.

24 Feb 2023