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ED Files Chargesheet Against Rana Ayyub: Here's What We Know So Far

“I am confident that this abuse of process by the ED will not withstand judicial scrutiny,” Rana Ayyub said.

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday, 13 October, filed a prosecution complaint -- which is the equivalent of a charge sheet -- against journalist Rana Ayyub over alleged laundering of funds collected by her for relief work.

The ED has claimed that Ayyub “illegally” raised an amount of Rs 2.69 crore and “cheated” donors from the general public by putting the funds to her personal use.

The prosecution complaint was filed on 12 October at a special court in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

ED Files Chargesheet Against Rana Ayyub: Here's What We Know So Far

  1. 1. On What Basis Is ED Investigating Ayyub?

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  2. 2. What Are The Allegations Against Ayyub? 

    Expand
  3. 3. What Has ED Alleged In Its Chargesheet?

    This is what ED claims it has found in its investigation:

    1. Ayyub had been running three fundraising campaigns since April 2020 on Ketto namely – ‘Help in raising funds for slum dwellers and farmers’; ‘Relief work for Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra’; and ‘Help Rana Ayyub and her team to help those impacted by Covid-19 in India’.

    2. She collected funds worth Rs 2,69,44,680.

    3. The funds raised through these online campaigns were initially collected in the accounts of her father and her sister. Subsequently, they were transferred to her sister’s accounts.

    4. Of the total funds, Ayyub utilised Rs 50 lakh for herself and created a fixed deposit (FD). She also transferred Rs 50 lakh to a new bank account. Only Rs 29 lakh was used for relief work.

    5. Ayyub submitted fake bills to claim more expenses towards relief work.

    Expand
  4. 4. How Has Rana Ayyub Reacted To The Development?

    Asserting that the funds raised by her were used for COVID-19 support, Ayyub claimed, “The charge sheet filed by the ED is yet another desperate attempt to target and intimidate me for my work, and yet another example of the abuse of PMLA law and the misuse of law enforcement agencies to silence me, a voice that questions and critiques the ruling regime.”

    “I am confident that this abuse of process by the ED will not withstand judicial scrutiny.”

    Expand
  5. 5. What Had Delhi High Court Said On Attaching Ayyub’s Properties?

    The Delhi HC had, on 17 August, restrained the ED from taking further steps under Section 8 of PMLA, against Ayyub's properties attached by the agency in connection with the money laundering case.

    ED had, in February this year, provisionally attached assets worth Rs 1.77 crore. Ayyub’s plea had, however, stated that the “provisional attachment has expired after 180 days yet adjudicating authority PMLA is continuing with proceedings.”

    Meanwhile, the HC had also restrained Ayyub from disposing of or creating any third party rights or encumbering the property forming subject matter of the provisional attachment order.

    Expand
  6. 6. How Had Ayyub Countered Those Claims?

    At that time, Ayyub had claimed, “In my three public campaigns undertaken on Ketto, I had raised a total of Rs 2,69,44,679 (about 26.9 million). I have provided all bills and invoices for the relief work undertaken by me, which is to the tune of Rs 40 lakh.”

    She said that she donated Rs 74.50 lakh to CM-CARES fund of Maharashtra and to the PM-CARES Fund for relief work across India after a public-funded hospital in New Delhi refused her donation of a cheque of Rs 90 lakh.

    “Thus, out of the total Rs 2.69 crore received, a total of 1 crore, 14 lakh and 50 thousand rupees was utilised for relief work as explained above. Another Rs 1 crore and 5 lakh was levied and collected as tax by the Income Tax Department. This accounts for Rs 2 crore 19 lakh and 50 thousand out of the total funds raised.”

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

On What Basis Is ED Investigating Ayyub?

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The Indirapuram police station in Ghaziabad had, on 7 September 2021, registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Ayyub under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Information Technology (Amendment) Act and the Black Money Act.

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What Are The Allegations Against Ayyub? 

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The police complaint against Ayyub claimed that she illegally acquired funds in the name of charity by launching a fundraiser online through crowdsourcing platform Ketto.

It was also alleged that she received contributions from abroad without registering under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.

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What Has ED Alleged In Its Chargesheet?

This is what ED claims it has found in its investigation:

  1. Ayyub had been running three fundraising campaigns since April 2020 on Ketto namely – ‘Help in raising funds for slum dwellers and farmers’; ‘Relief work for Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra’; and ‘Help Rana Ayyub and her team to help those impacted by Covid-19 in India’.

  2. She collected funds worth Rs 2,69,44,680.

  3. The funds raised through these online campaigns were initially collected in the accounts of her father and her sister. Subsequently, they were transferred to her sister’s accounts.

  4. Of the total funds, Ayyub utilised Rs 50 lakh for herself and created a fixed deposit (FD). She also transferred Rs 50 lakh to a new bank account. Only Rs 29 lakh was used for relief work.

  5. Ayyub submitted fake bills to claim more expenses towards relief work.

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What Action Has ED Taken Against Rana Ayyub?

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Bank balances in the accounts of Ayyub amounting to Rs 1,77,27,704 (including the FD of Rs 50 lakh) were attached under section 5 (1) of PMLA on 4 February 2022.

This means, the probing agency can confiscate assets, if it has ‘reason to believe’ that such assets are linked with ‘proceeds of crime’.

These funds were not used for the intended purpose, instead used for creation of assets for herself. Ms Rana Ayyub has tried to project these funds as untainted and thus has laundered the funds received from the general public.
Statement, Enforcement Directorate (ED)

The ED alleged that Ayyub received these funds from foreign countries without any approval or registration from the government which is required under the FCRA.

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How Has Rana Ayyub Reacted To The Development?

Asserting that the funds raised by her were used for COVID-19 support, Ayyub claimed, “The charge sheet filed by the ED is yet another desperate attempt to target and intimidate me for my work, and yet another example of the abuse of PMLA law and the misuse of law enforcement agencies to silence me, a voice that questions and critiques the ruling regime.”

“I am confident that this abuse of process by the ED will not withstand judicial scrutiny.”

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

What Had Delhi High Court Said On Attaching Ayyub’s Properties?

The Delhi HC had, on 17 August, restrained the ED from taking further steps under Section 8 of PMLA, against Ayyub's properties attached by the agency in connection with the money laundering case.

ED had, in February this year, provisionally attached assets worth Rs 1.77 crore. Ayyub’s plea had, however, stated that the “provisional attachment has expired after 180 days yet adjudicating authority PMLA is continuing with proceedings.”

Meanwhile, the HC had also restrained Ayyub from disposing of or creating any third party rights or encumbering the property forming subject matter of the provisional attachment order.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

How Had Ayyub Countered Those Claims?

At that time, Ayyub had claimed, “In my three public campaigns undertaken on Ketto, I had raised a total of Rs 2,69,44,679 (about 26.9 million). I have provided all bills and invoices for the relief work undertaken by me, which is to the tune of Rs 40 lakh.”

She said that she donated Rs 74.50 lakh to CM-CARES fund of Maharashtra and to the PM-CARES Fund for relief work across India after a public-funded hospital in New Delhi refused her donation of a cheque of Rs 90 lakh.

“Thus, out of the total Rs 2.69 crore received, a total of 1 crore, 14 lakh and 50 thousand rupees was utilised for relief work as explained above. Another Rs 1 crore and 5 lakh was levied and collected as tax by the Income Tax Department. This accounts for Rs 2 crore 19 lakh and 50 thousand out of the total funds raised.”

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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