Ailing Naresh Goyal cries in court, says wants to 'die in jail'
Goyal, arrested on 1 September 2023 in connection with a money-laundering case, is currently in judicial custody in Mumbai's Arthur Road Central Jail
Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, currently in jail, broke down during a special court hearing on his bail plea, saying with folded hands that he wanted to die in prison.
Goyal, arrested on 1 September 2023 in connection with a money-laundering case, is currently in judicial custody and lodged in Mumbai's Arthur Road Central Jail, 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 he had lost all hope in life and for the 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, and little follow-up, and urged the special court to not send him to hospital but allow him to die in the jail itself.
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 Enforcement Directorate to file its reply in the matter, while posting it for further hearing on 16 January.
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 to 16 January.
Judge Deshpande also directed the lawyers to take suitable steps pertaining to Goyal's illness and compliance of his orders, as Goyal’s lawyer, senior advocate Abad Ponda, lodged 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 funds were diverted for personal gain, and pointed out that any action was approved by the independent board and the audit committee of the company.
In November 2023, Bombay High Court had dismissed a plea by Goyal challenging his arrest by the ED, and in September 2023, the special ED court had rejected his plea request for treatment by his family doctor and for home-cooked food in view of his health.