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Delhi HC restrains ED from proceeding against Rana Ayyub in money laundering case after she approached court challenging ED attachment of funds

The bench of Justice Yashwant Varma said that the order will stay in effect till the next date of hearing on November 17.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday barred the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from taking further steps under Section 8 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 against alleged journalist Rana Ayub in a money laundering case. Justice Yashwant Varma issued the notice after Ayyub filed a petition against her assets being attached.

On Ayyub’s petition, the court served notice to the investigating agency and requested a response within six weeks.

The court, additionally, also restrained Ayyub from disposing of or creating any third-party rights over the attached funds in certain bank accounts.

“Till the next date of listing, the respondent (ED) shall stand restrained from taking further steps as contemplated under Section 8 (Adjudication) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The petitioner shall also stand restrained from disposing of or creating any third party rights or encumbering the property which forms the subject matter of the provisional order of attachment,” ordered the court.

The bench of Justice Yashwant Varma said that the order will stay in effect till the next date of hearing on November 17.

Notably, ‘journalist’ Rana Ayyub on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging the attachment of funds by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Ayyub, represented by advocate Vrinda Grover, one of the torchbearers in saving terrorist Yakub Memon from the gallows, claimed that the provisional attachment order issued in February 2022 had lapsed and ceased to exist after 180 days, and the Adjudicating Authority therefore can no longer pass an order of confirmation.

Allegations of fund embezzlement against Rana Ayyub

It may be recalled that on February 10, OpIndia had reported that ED seized Rs 1.77 crore in Ayyub’s and her family’s accounts under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. A few days after the expose, Ayyub alleged in a statement that she was being framed for her “journalism” and that she did not misuse the money.

However, all her claims were debunked by a Twitter user Hawk Eye who was the first to share details of alleged charity fraud last year. The ED has, in its attachment order, said, “Rana Ayyub has cheated the general Public Donors in a pre-planned manner and with the intention to cheat the general public donors.”

The order emphasised that the ‘scam’ started from the time she received the funds, which she did not use for Covid-19 relief work. She instead made a fixed deposit of ₹50 lakhs and transferred the amount to the savings account of her father, and sister through net banking. You can read the details about the allegations of misuse of Covid-19 funds by clicking on the link here.

On March 29, Rana Ayyub was stopped by Indian Immigration officials from boarding a flight to London due to the pending money laundering case against her. On April 4, she was granted permission to travel abroad by the Delhi High Court with the pre-requirement that she divulges details of her travel, contacts and her place of stay.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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