gave Supreme Court Peer said on January 25 that she will hear the plea of journalist Rana Ayub challenging the summons issued to him by a special PMLA court in Ghaziabad in a money laundering case filed by the ED. .
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, and Justices V Ramasubramaniam and JB Pardiwala adjourned the matter after referring to senior advocate Vrinda Krit.
Karat told the court that the bench that was scheduled to hear the matter on Monday was not available, and requested the bench to adjourn the matter for hearing after 2 pm today.
“We will place it before a proper bench tomorrow. Today will be a tough day,” the bench said.
On January 17, a bench headed by CJI Chandrachud agreed to consider listing Ayub’s plea for urgent hearing, after taking cognizance of pleas filed by advocate Vrinda Grover on his behalf. were presented.
Grover had said that a special court in Ghaziabad had issued summons against Ayub on January 27 and therefore the case should be registered immediately.
In his writ petition, Ayub has sought quashing of the proceedings initiated by the Enforcement Directorate in Ghaziabad as it lacks jurisdiction over the alleged offense of money laundering in Mumbai.
On November 29 last year, a special PMLA court in Ghaziabad took notice of the prosecution complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate and summoned Ayub.
The ED’s charge sheet for money laundering under Section 45 read with Section 44 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 was filed by Sanjit Kumar Sahu, Assistant Director, ED, Delhi.
“I have perused the said prosecution complaint and perused the documents including the prosecution papers as well as statements.
“On perusal of the entire record there is sufficient prima facie evidence to take cognizance of the offense against Ms. Rana Ayub,” the special court judge said.
The special court said that Ayub was accused of illegally taking money from the general public in the name of charity through ‘Keto’ (an online crowdfunding platform) in three campaigns without any approval, his sister. Depositing huge amount in the bank account of and father, and transferring it to his bank account which was not used for the intended purpose.
On October 12 last year, the ED filed a chargesheet against Ayub, accusing him of cheating and exploiting the public. ₹2.69 crore he received in charity for creating personal assets and violating foreign contribution laws.
“Rana Ayub has launched three fundraiser charity campaigns on the ‘Keto Platform’ starting April 2020 and have raised a total of Rs. ₹2,69,44,680,” the ED said in a statement.
It said the campaigns were aimed at raising funds for slum dwellers and farmers, doing relief work for Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra, and helping Ayub and his team to help those affected by COVID-19 in India. .
“Ayub used these funds to make a fixed deposit. ₹50 lakhs for himself and transfer too ₹50 lakhs in a new bank account. Investigations revealed that only about ₹29 lakh was used for relief work,” the ED had claimed.
“Fake bills were submitted by Ayub to claim further expenses for relief works and then bank balances in Ayub’s accounts. ₹1,77,27,704 (including FD of ₹50 lakh) was attached under PMLA through a temporary attachment order on February 4, 2022,” it had said.
Based on an FIR registered by the Indirapuram Police Station in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh on September 7, 2021 under various sections of the IPC, the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008, and the Black Money Act against Ayub. A money laundering investigation was launched.
It also alleged that Ayub received foreign contributions without registration under the FCRA.
On August 17 last year, the Delhi High Court had restrained the ED from proceeding with the temporary attachment of funds in connection with the investigation against him.
On April 4 last year, the Delhi High Court had allowed Ayub to travel abroad and questioned the Look Out Circular (LoC) issued by the ED against banning his travel abroad.
Ayub was barred from taking a flight from Mumbai airport to London in March under a ‘lookout circular’ issued against him by the ED.