Updated January 6th, 2024 at 21:37 IST
Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal makes emotional admission in court, breaks down
Have lost every hope of life, better to die in jail and face destiny: Goyal
Expressing distress and agony: In an emotional admission made in the court, Naresh Goyal, the founder of grounded carrier Jet Airways on Saturday, told a special court that he had “lost every hope of life” and it will be “better if he dies in jail” than living in his present condition. Goyal is facing imprisonment in Rs 538 crore alleged fraud at Canara Bank. The septuagenarian, who turned teary-eyed, submitted that he misses his wife Anita very badly and said she is in the advanced stage of cancer, according to court records.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Goyal on September 1 last year in connection with the alleged bank fraud. He is currently in judicial custody at Arthur Road jail here. Goyal had moved a bail application before special judge M G Desphande. He was produced before the court on Saturday and during the proceedings Goyal requested for a few minutes of personal hearing, which the judge allowed.
Visibly in distress
As per the court’s 'roznama' (record of daily hearings), Goyal with folded hands and “continuous tremors in his whole body” submitted that “his health is very bad and precarious”. The businessman said that his wife is bedridden and their only daughter too is unwell. The jail staff has their limitations in helping him, said Goyal. “I heard him patiently and also observed him when he made the submissions as such. I found that his whole body was trembling. He needs assistance even to stand,” the judge noted.
Goyal pointed to his knees and said they were swollen and painful and he was unable to fold his legs. The Jet Airways founder brought to the court’s notice that he has severe pain while urinating and sometimes blood is passed through urine, coupled with unsustainable pain. Most of the time, he hasn’t been able to get assistance, he said. The businessman told the judge that he had become very weak and there was no use in referring him to J J Hospital. The journey with other inmates as per the convenience of prison staff and escort party from Arthur Road jail to the hospital is “very troublesome, hectic and tedious which he cannot bear and sustain”.
Also, there is always a long queue of patients and he cannot reach the doctor in time and whenever he is examined by the doctor further follow-up is not possible, Goyal said, adding that Goyal said that these are "very badly affecting his health". He said his wife Anita is in the advanced stage of cancer and undergoing treatment. There is no one to look after her as his only daughter is also suffering from health issues, submitted Goyal, with tears in his eyes. He requested the court not to send him to J J Hospital and instead “allow him to die in the jail itself”. Goyal said “he has lost every hope of life and (it’s) better he should die rather than be alive in such a situation”.
Goyal insists on no more in-person hearings
Goyal submitted that he would turn 75 and he has no hope for any future. It’s “better if he dies in jail, his destiny would rescue him”, he said. Goyal also submitted that his health doesn’t permit him to attend the court personally. This time, Goyal said, he insisted that he be produced before the court so that he would be able to submit everything personally. He said he won’t insist on physical appearance any more. “I have taken note of everything he has submitted and also assured the accused that he will not be left helpless and all possible care of his mental and physical health will be taken with proper treatment,” the judge said after hearing Goyal.
The court directed his lawyers to take appropriate steps concerning his health. In his bail plea filed last month, Goyal cited multiple medical ailments like heart condition, prostate and orthopaedic issues and claimed there were reasonable grounds to believe that “he is not guilty”. The ED has filed a response to his bail plea and the matter will be further heard on January 16. The ED case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) stems from an FIR of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Jet Airways, Goyal, his wife Anita and some former company executives of the now-grounded private airline in connection with an alleged fraud of Rs 538 crore at the state-run Canara Bank.
The FIR was registered on the bank’s complaint alleging that it had sanctioned credit and loans worth Rs 848.86 crore to Jet Airways (India) Limited of which Rs 538.62 crore was outstanding. (With PTI inputs)
Published January 6th, 2024 at 21:37 IST