Setback for Rana Ayyub as SC dismisses plea against summons by Ghaziabad court
A bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and JB Pardiwala allowed Ayyub to raise the question during the trial before the Special CBI court at Ghaziabad.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by journalist Rana Ayyub challenging the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case being proceeded against her before a Ghaziabad court. The top court said the question where the offence of money laundering took place is a “question of fact” to be decided during the trial.
A bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and JB Pardiwala allowed Ayyub to raise the question during the trial before the Special CBI court at Ghaziabad. Ayyub was charged with a money laundering offence in November for initiating a crowdfunding for Covid-19 patients and was accused of misusing the money for her enjoyment.
Ayyub objected to the case being lodged in the Uttar Pradesh court as she claimed that the bank account to which the money was deposited was in Navi Mumbai where the trial ought to be held.
On January 31, the Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on a plea of Ayyub challenging the summons. On January 25, it had asked a special court in Ghaziabad to adjourn the proceedings in the money laundering case against Ayyub scheduled for hearing on January 27 to a date after January 31.
In her writ petition, Ayyub has sought quashing of the proceedings initiated by the ED in Ghaziabad citing lack of jurisdiction as the alleged offence of money laundering occurred in Mumbai.
On November 29 last year, the special PMLA court in Ghaziabad took cognisance of the prosecution complaint (charge sheet) filed by the ED and summoned Ayyub.
The ED charge sheet was filed under section 45 read with section 44 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. On October 12 last year, the ED had filed a charge sheet against Ayyub, accusing her of cheating the public and using ₹2.69 crore she got in charity for creating personal assets, and also violating the foreign contribution law.
"Rana Ayyub launched three fundraiser charity campaigns on the 'Ketto' platform, starting from April 2020 and collected funds totalling ₹2,69,44,680," the ED had said in a statement.