No Relief for Rana Ayyub From Delhi HC, ED to File Status Report on 4 April

The journalist claims that the ED issued a summons to her 14 minutes before her flight was to depart, not before.

3 min read
Hindi Female

Journalist Rana Ayyub was on Friday, 1 April, unable to obtain interim relief from the Delhi High Court, that would allow her to travel abroad and participate in events and conferences where she was slated to speak.

The high court has, however, directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) – on whose instructions Ayyub was not allowed to leave the country – to file a status report on its case against her by 2:30 pm on Monday, 4 April.

Ayyub was stopped at Mumbai airport from boarding a flight to London on Tuesday, 29 March, as she is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection to an alleged money laundering case. Ayyub was flying to London to speak at an event organised by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).

She is scheduled to attend an international conference in London and a journalism festival in Italy in the coming weeks.


During the hearing on Friday, advocate Vrinda Grover, on behalf of Ayyub, argued that:

"I am before you because my fundamental rights to speech and to practice my profession as a journalist is attacked."

She argued that Ayyub had attended the last summons in the case on 25 January, and her statement had been recorded by the ED at the time. She had remained in communication with the ED till 22 March over the filing of her reply, but no further summons had been issued till then.

However, on 29 March, after having gone through immigration for her 2 pm flight, she was detained at the airport and told the ED was going to send her a summons. The summons arrived in her mailbox at 1:46 pm.

Grover noted that Ayyub had posted the details of her trip on social media, from which she was to return on 11 April. The date by which she was supposed to file her reply to the ED was 17 April.

As a result, she contended that the whole process was an attempt to silence Ayyub because she was critical of the government, and "frustrate" her attempts to travel to the international conferences and events.


"It is not as simple as my learned friend makes it to be," argued Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the ED, adding "The petitioner is involved in a serious offence."

The ASG took the court through the details of the case, including the ED's allegations that fake bills had been issued by her and money collected for relief work – including donations in foreign currency – had been siphoned by her for personal use.

Raju argued that some documents which Ayyub was supposed to submit have not yet been submitted, hence the need for action.

Justice Chandra Dhari Singh agreed to post the case for hearing on Monday, which would technically allow the court to pass an order allowing Ayyub to travel for her events in time, while the ED will submit its status report clarifying which documents remain to be submitted by the journalist.


The ED's case against Ayyub, registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), relates to an FIR registered by the Ghaziabad Police in September 2021, which alleges irregularities in fund collection by Ayyub. The ED has filed a money laundering case in connection with the predicate offence being examined by the police and the Income Tax department.

The irregularities in question allude to three crowdfunding campaigns initiated by the journalist between April 2020-June 2021, facilitated by the virtual platform Ketto.

"She allegedly didn't utilise donations meant for three campaigns for right purpose. Parts of donations were allegedly used for personal expenses," an ED official was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. It has also been alleged that Ayyub didn't have authorisation to collect funds donated outside the country under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

Ayyub, however, has rejected all the allegations against her.

Her statement shared via Twitter says, “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.”

Ayyub also said that she donated Rs 74.50 lakh to the Maharashtra Chief Minister Relief Fund (CMRF) 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.

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Topics:  Delhi High Court   Rana Ayyub 

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