Delhi HC Restrains ED From Proceeding Against Rana Ayyub’s Attached Properties

ED had attached assets worth Rs 1.77 crore in connection with alleged irregularities in funds collected by Ayyub.

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Hindi Female

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 17 August, restrained the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from taking further steps under Section 8 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, against journalist and Washington Post columnist Rana Ayyub's properties attached by the agency in connection with a money laundering case.

Ayyub’s plea had stated that the “provisional attachment has expired after 180 days yet adjudicating authority PMLA is continuing with proceedings.”

In February, the ED had provisionally attached assets worth Rs 1.77 crore in connection with alleged irregularities in the collection of charitable funds by Ayyub for COVID relief work.

The ED claimed that the investigations made it clear that the funds were raised in the name of charity but not utilised completely for the purpose of which they were raised.

The case, registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the Ghaziabad Police, is based on an FIR from September 2021, which alleges irregularities in Ayyub's funds.


It alludes to three crowdfunding campaigns initiated by the journalist between April 2020-June 2021, facilitated by the virtual crowdfunding platform Ketto.

The ED has stated that the said FIR states that Rana Ayyub raised huge amounts running in crores via the Ketto crowdfunding platform in three campaigns i.e. funds for slum dwellers and farmers during April-May 2020, relief work for Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra during June-September 2020 and help for Covid-19-impacted people in India during May-June 2021.

Meanwhile, the Court has also restrained Ayyub from disposing of or creating any third party rights or encumbering the property forming subject matter of the provisional attachment order, Live Law reported.

The Court also sought a response from the ED while posting the matter for further hearing on 17 November.

‘No Part of Relief Campaign Fund Remains Unaccounted for’: Ayyub

Ayyub, in a statement on the matter in February, had remarked, “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.”
Rana Ayyub

Ayyub also said that during the second wave, she was in talks with NGOS to up a makeshift COVID hospital for which she created a fixed deposit of Rs 50 lakh. She was also in talks with a medical facility introduced by Ketto.

She added, “The remaining amount, which comes to little less than Rs 50 lakh is also accounted for as I had made a fixed deposit of Rs 50 lakh for the field hospital, which I have stated above. I reiterate that my claims are supported by documents which I have placed before the authorities.”

She also said that no foreign donations were received by her or the two designated bank accounts as all the donations were received first in Ketto’s bank account which would send the amount for relief campaigns in Indian currency.

“My instructions to Ketto were that any money received in foreign currency should be returned back to the donor, and the relief work was carried out with only domestic contributions.”
Rana Ayyub

(With inputs from LiveLaw.)

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