Rana Ayyub has issued a statement after an FIR was registered against her in Uttar Pradesh over allegations of fraud. In her statement, she has made attempts to defend herself while labeling the claims of fraud a consequence of ‘hate and propaganda’.
The ‘journalist’ said, “The Hindu IT Cell has lodged a malicious and baseless FIR against me in Uttar Pradesh, alleging that I have fraudulently taken donations on Ketto for Covid relief work. I have been defamed, trolled and abused online on the basis this allegation. For the record, I wish to inform everyone that the entire donation received through Ketto is accounted for, and not a single paisa has been misused. The receipt of donations did not violate any law.”
“Further, I have paid a heavy amount of tax on the donations, as directed by the CBDT, although I believe the donations ought not to have been taxed so that more money could be used for relief work. Such donations are exempt from taxes as per the policy and law of the land, and I am taking necessary steps in that regard with the CBDT. My accounts and the donations have both been scrutinized by the IT Department, and a fair investigation will bring out the truth for all,” she added.
Rana Ayyub proceeded to add, “Any amount of hate and propaganda will not stop me from pursuing my profession honestly, nor will I allow bullying tactics to prevent me from doing relief work when it is most needed.”
While Ayyub has claimed that the donations did not violate any law, that is for law enforcement authorities to investigate. Furthermore, she received donations from abroad without any FCRA registration. Therefore, it potentially is in violation of the law. Also, she says that the donations should not have been taxed but that would have been true only if she had receive the money through the account of a registered NGO.
In this case, Rana Ayyub sought donations through her personal account. Therefore, as per law, tax exemptions do not apply. The FIR against Ayyub in connection to allegations against her fundraising campaign was filed on 7th September at Indrapuram police station in Ghaziabad in UP in response to a complaint filed by Vikas Sakrityayan of the Hindu IT cell.
The FIR against Rana Ayyub
The complaint accused her of Money Laundering, Cheating, Dishonest Misappropriation of Property, Criminal Breach of Trust by illegally acquiring money from the general public in the name of charity. It said that Rana Ayyub happens to be a journalist by profession and was receiving foreign money without any kind of approval certificate/registration from the government, which is required as per the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010. Hence, she liable is also liable for violating the provisions of FCRA, the complaint had stated.
Based on this complaint, the FIR was registered under sections 403, 406, 418, 420 or the Indian Penal Code (IPC), section 66D of the IT Act and section 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.