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Goyal's cancer not life-threatening: Court rejects Jet Airways founder's interim bail plea

The court, however, permitted Goyal, arrested in a money laundering case, to undergo cancer treatment at a hospital of his choice for two months.
Last Updated 29 February 2024, 14:13 IST

Mumbai: Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal's cancer was at a preliminary stage and not life threatening, a special court said here on Thursday while refusing to grant him interim bail on medical grounds.

The court, however, permitted Goyal, arrested in a money laundering case, to undergo cancer treatment at a hospital of his choice for two months.

Goyal (74), who is lodged in Arthur Road jail in central Mumbai, had sought to be released on interim bail to undergo treatment for cancer. Special judge for cases under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) M G Deshpande noted that as per Goyal's medical reports, the malignancy was at a preliminary stage and was not life threatening and holds a strong hope of recovery.

"Currently, neither the private doctors nor the medical board has asserted that this sickness is life threatening. Moreover, the health condition of accused (Goyal) has not exhibited any alarming symptoms," the order said. There is a likelihood of positive recovery and complete eradication of the tumour with prompt and proper treatment, it added.

The court said Goyal was accused of a serious offence of laundering over Rs 500 crore and being an influential person, he poses a risk to the case if bail is granted. The judge, however, clarified that denial of interim bail was not a refusal of medical aid, but it was a measure to prevent potential abuse of the investigation process.

"Prima facie, it appears that the malignancy is at a preliminary stage and has not spread to the entire body yet," the court said. It added that while Tata Hospital was considered to be one of the best for cancer treatments, it was up to Goyal to choose a hospital for his treatment.

"The court cannot interfere in the wish and desire of the applicant (Goyal). I am of the opinion that the applicant needs hospitalisation for further investigation and treatment," the court said in its order.

The court directed the Arthur Road Jail superintendent to arrange adequate staff at the hospital to keep vigilance on Goyal. The court also directed the concerned doctors to submit reports on Goyal's condition and treatment twice a month.

Last month, Goyal was permitted by the court to undergo tests at a private hospital here.

On February 15, Goyal filed an application seeking interim bail on medical grounds as the tests revealed malignancy. The application said Goyal has to undergo some scans to determine the stage of the malignancy, based on which doctors will be able to determine the line of treatment, including surgery and chemotherapy. The doctors have advised an aggressive and immediate line of treatment to arrest any fatal issues that could arise in the applicant's case, the plea added.

Goyal was arrested in September 2023 by the ED, which claimed he had laundered money and siphoned off loans to the tune of Rs 538.62 crore given to Jet Airways by Canara Bank. The money laundering case stems from a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR against Jet Airways, Goyal, his wife Anita and some former executives of the now-grounded carrier in connection with the alleged bank fraud.

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(Published 29 February 2024, 14:13 IST)

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