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PMLA case: Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal seeks interim bail to treat 'slow growing cancer'

The 74-year-old businessman 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.
Last Updated 15 February 2024, 17:03 IST

Mumbai: Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, an accused in a money laundering case, on Thursday moved a plea before a special court here seeking interim bail for treatment of malignancy, which was revealed during tests conducted by private doctors.

The court passed an initial order for setting up a medical board to examine Goyal's medical reports as Enforcement Directorate (ED) sought time to respond to his interim bail plea.

Last month, special judge for cases under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) M G Deshpande had allowed Goyal to undergo medical tests by private doctors.

In the plea for interim bail, Jet Airways founder Goyal said malignancy was revealed during the tests undertaken by the private doctors.

As per his medical records, Goyal has small tumours in his intestine (common location for small tumours), called 'Neuro Endocrine Tumours' (slow growing cancer).

He also has hiatus hernia of about 35 cm to 40 cm with severe reflux oesophagitis, which is a medical condition that occurs when the upper part of stomach bulges through the diaphragm into the chest cavity.

It is suggested that the stomach will have to be brought down and prevent acid reflux by long-term medication or surgery.

His report also revealed a short segment of narrowing at the junction of the mid and lower esophagus, indicative of Barrett's esophagus, which is a pre-cancerous condition.

Goyal's application said his biopsy was sent for histopathological analysis and immunohistochemistry.

Based on the findings it is imperative Goyal undergoes a PET scan to determine the stage of malignancy and doctors will be able to determine the line of treatment, including surgery and chemotherapy, the plea said.

The doctors have advised aggressive and immediate line of treatment to arrest any fatal issues that could arise in the applicant's case, the plea added.

Special public prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves submitted that a medical board of J J Hospital be constituted as instructed by ED and Goyal's medical papers be referred to it for opinion, after which the ED will submit their reply with more clarity.

Gonsalves said they (ED) are not experts to directly rely upon the various test results and the medical papers annexed to Goyal's application and give opinion and file reply accordingly.

Goyal's lawyer said he has no objection but asserted the medical board must be set up at the earliest so that time consumed in the process does not affect the accused's health.

After hearing both sides, the court said the dean of JJ Hospital is requested to constitute a medical board as requested by ED and examine Goyal thoroughly.

The medical board should convey its candid opinion to the court by February 20, the judge said.

The board shall ascertain the sickness and submit whether the proposed treatment based on medical papers of Goyal is available at JJ hospital, the court added.

The 74-year-old businessman 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 an FIR of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) 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 15 February 2024, 17:03 IST)

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