The Bombay High Court on Tuesday rebuked the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) for not completing its probe against Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his wife in a case of an alleged Rs 7,000 crore fraud.
A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Sharmila Deshmukh expressed displeasure about the tardy pace of probe while allowing Naresh Goyal’s wife Anita to travel to the United Arab Emirates for a month on April 20.
Naresh Goyal, however, failed to get a similar permission as the court said it could not hear his application in detail due to paucity of time.
The couple had moved the court seeking permission to travel abroad.
The SFIO, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Corporate Affairs Ministry, said it was opposed to the couple traveling together, but had no objection if Anita Goyal were to travel alone.
Advocate Hiten Venegaonkar, appearing for the central agency, told the court that the investigation against the Goyals, initiated in 2019, was still underway and was likely to be concluded by September 2023.
This drew sharp comments from the high court.
“Your investigation is going on since 2019. You have to take your investigation to some logical end. Somewhere there has to be a closure in cases. You cannot go on endlessly with investigation,” Justice Dere said.
Venegaonkar said the alleged fraud was of a huge magnitude, and Naresh Goyal was not extending his full co-operation.
The court then remarked that the SFIO must have able and efficient officers.
While permitting Anita Goyal to travel, the court suspended all the Look Out Circulars issued against her for a month.
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