Even as the bankers are trying to resolve the insolvency at the debt ridden Jet Airways Ltd, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) on Thursday order a probe by the Serious Fraud and Investigations office (SFIO).
A copy of the MCA order has been reviewed by Mint.
MCA in the order said that seven companies belonging to Jet Airways group of companies need for a formal fraud probe based on an inspection report.The report would be submitted in 6 weeks.
"Company was prima facie indulging into malpractices, mismanagement through siphoning/ writing-off/ diversion of funds and other financial irregularities, including but not limited to preferential/ related party transactions prejudicial to the public interest," said MCA in the order.
Some of the companies which will face the SFIO probe include Jet Lite (India) ltd, Jet Privilege (India) Ltd. An email sent to Jet Airways, Naresh Goyal did not result in a response immediately.
The orders for a fraud probe is based on a Registrar of Companies (RoC) submitted on 8 May which had found Companies Act violations of serious in nature and unexplained funds trail does point to fund diversion.
Based on the RoC report the SFIO had requested a Look Out Circular (LOC) against Naresh Goyal, founder of Jet Airways. This led to Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal being stopped from flying out on 25 May.
In response to the LOC Naresh Goyal filed a writ petition in Delhi High Court on Thursday seeking that it is quashed.
"We will oppose the quashing and in our response to the court we will highlight that as Goyal has no financial interest in India he may fly out. He also has no collateral to recover back the debt of nearly ₹15000 crore," said a government official.
Jet Airways was grounded on 17 April due to severe cash crunch and for not servicing its debt obligations. The airline’s total liability, including unpaid salaries and vendor dues, is nearly ₹15,000 crore.
The lenders to Jet led by State Bank of India (SBI) tried to resolve the insolvency at Jet Airways through bidding process. However the efforts failed on 17 June when the bankers started bankruptcy proceedings against the grounded airline and referred the airline to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).