Ill Naresh Goyal cries in court, says ‘wants to die in jail’
Mumbai, Jan 7 (IANS) The founder of Jet Airways Naresh Goyal — currently in jail — cracked up during a Special Court hearing on his bail plea, cried and said with folded hands that he wanted to die in the prison.
Goyal, nabbed on September 1, 2023 in connection with a money-laundering case, is currently in judicial custody and lodged at the Arthur Road Central Jail (ARCJ), as his bail plea is pending.
Appearing briefly in person after the Special ED Court Judge M.G. Deshpande granted his request on Saturday, a trembling Goyal, 74, said his health has turned very precarious, his wife Anita is down with cancer and their only daughter is also unwell.
With tears welling up his eyes, the apparently dejected Goyal said that he has lost all hopes in life and future, so it would be better to die in prison rather than live on in such circumstances.
He narrated all his chronic ailments and his regular ordeals while going for treatment to the government-run Sir J.J. Hospital along with other prisoners, long queues, little follow-up, and urged the Special Court not to send him to hospital but allow him to die in the jail itself.
The Special Judge Deshpande, who heard him out patiently noted that Goyal’s “whole body was trembling, and he needed help even to stand up”, and has asked the ED to file its reply in the matter, while posting the matter for further hearing on January 16.
The Special Court also assured Goyal that he would not be abandoned and all possible care regarding his mental and physical health would be taken with proper treatment, while extending his judicial custody by 10 days till January 16.
The Special Judge Deshpande also directed the lawyers to take suitable steps pertaining to his illness and compliance of his orders, as Goyal’s lawyer, Senior Advocate Abad Ponda made a plea for bail.
In the bail plea, Goyal has claimed that he did not siphon off loan amounts for personal benefits as alleged by the ED in the Canara Bank loan of Rs 538.62 crore given to the Jet Airways group.
He has also denied the ED’s allegations that his funds were diverted for personal gains and pointed out that it was approved by the independent board and the audit committee of the company.
Earlier, in November 2023 the Bombay High Court had dismissed a plea by Goyal challenging his arrest by the ED, and before that in September 2023, the Special ED Court had rejected his plea for treatment by his family doctor and home-cooked food in view of his health status.