Bombay High Court Dismisses Naresh Goyal’s Petition Challenging ED Arrest

The Central Bureau of Investigation’s FIR against Jet Airways, Goyal, and his wife Anita in a fraud case on a complaint from Canara Bank serves as the foundation for the ED case.

Goyal used the majority of the loan given to airlines—Rs 538 crore out of Rs 849 crore—for his personal expenses, according to the complaint. The loan was later declared non-performing in 2019. The ED filed its chargesheet against Goyal and others before the special court in Mumbai last week.

In its plea before the high court, the ED defended the legality of the arrest, saying the petition was not maintainable as it is a judicial remand and no habeas corpus petition can lie against such an order. The agency asserted that it followed the law’s requirements for proper procedure and safety measures during the arrest.

A habeas corpus petition is not maintainable in cases in which the accused is remanded to judicial custody. However, such a petition can be entertained if the remand is absolutely illegal, afflicted with the vice of lack of jurisdiction, or if it is passed in an absolutely mechanical manner.

Goyal’s arrest fell under this exception provided by the Supreme Court. The arrest was patently illegal as it was done in defiance of a high court order staying further proceedings in the underlying CBI case, according to his counsel, Amit Desai.

Desai claimed that he was kept in police custody for more than 24 hours before being presented to the magistrate. He argued that this was in violation of the constitutional rights of the accused.

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