Mumbai: Grounded Airlines Jet Airways Ltd founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal were stopped from flying to Dubai today by the immigration authorities in Mumbai, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
"At around 3:35 pm the duo had boarded an Emirates aircraft EK 507. The plane was at the taxiway when it was called back by air traffic control. The two were deplaned owing to some immigration clearance issues," said this person without going into details.
Jet Airways and Mumbai International Airport Ltd were not available for comments immediately.
"Emirates is co-operating fully with the relevant authorities and we abide by the laws of the various countries we operate in," an Emirates spokesperson said in a statement.
Typically immigration can stop citizens from travelling abroad based on a look-out circular from law enforcement agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the SFIO and the local police.
In the case of Jet Airways, the CBI has not registered any case so far.
It is still unclear which law enforcement agency initiated this extreme step. The ED and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) are currently examining the books of Jet Airways and its wing Jet Privilege. The MCA is examining the books for any alleged fund diversion.
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.
It is MCA & SFIO who have issued a look out circular against the Goyals.
“MCA has sent a request for LOC to Intelligence bureau upon which the immigration Dept has enacted today," said a government official.
Mint had reported on 9 May that the MCA is in the process of ordering a probe by India’s fraud investigator after discovering instances of diversion of funds by the promoters of Jet Airways. This was based on 8 May report by Registrar of Companies (RoC) which had found instances of Companies Act violations and unexplained fund trails.