The Bombay High Court has directed the Enforcement Directorate not to take any coercive steps till January 31 against Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal in a money laundering case.
A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and P K Chavan had granted interim relief to the couple last week. The detailed order was available on Tuesday.
The bench is hearing the couple’s pleas to quash the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), somewhat similar to an FIR, against them.
In 2020, the agency had filed a criminal case against the Goyals and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognisance of a Mumbai police FIR.
The Mumbai police FIR pertains to charges of alleged fraud by the Goyals and others against a city-based travel company.
The Goyals, represented by senior advocates Ravi Kadam and Abad Ponda, told the court that there is no predicate offence, as required under the PMLA, to investigate the ECIR.
They submitted that the Mumbai police had filed a closure report, which concluded that they had not found any substance in the criminal complaint against the Goyals and that the dispute seemed to be of civil nature.
The closure report had been accepted by a metropolitan magistrate.
The couple’s lawyers told the HC that the protest petition filed by ED (before the sessions court) was rejected and that the said order had been confirmed by the Bombay High Court as well as the Supreme Court.
Advocate Shreeram Shirsat, who represented the ED, sought time to respond to the petitions. The court then adjourned the matter to January 31, granting the couple interim relief.
The HC directed the ED not to take any coercive steps against the petitioners (Goyals) in the ECIR till the next date of hearing.
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