Setback for Rana Ayyub as SC dismisses plea against summons by Ghaziabad court

Rana Ayuub (File photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea filed by journalist Rana Ayyub challenging the jurisdiction of a Ghaziabad court that commenced proceedings against her in a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case, according to Bar and Bench. The apex 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 stated: “We have said under Section 3 PMLA, the place where any of the six activities are carried out.. is the place where offence of money laundering takes place. The question as to which is the place is a question of fact decided on evidence. We leave it open to raise this issue before trial court. We are dismissing this petition.”

She was summoned by a trial court in Ghaziabad in relation to a prosecution complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The Supreme Court had last week reserved its order in the Ayyub’s plea. On January 25, it had asked a special court in Ghaziabad to adjourn the proceedings scheduled for hearing on January 27 to a date after January 31.

During the hearing, advocate Vrinda Grover, advocating Ayyub’s side cited the reason that the Ghaziabad court has no jurisdiction to hear the matter.

The journalist objected to the case being lodged in Ghaziabad as her bank account to which the money was deposited was in Navi Mumbai where the trial ought to be held. In her writ petition, the journalist 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.

The ED charge sheet was filed under section 45 read with section 44 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, according to the Hindustan Times. 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.


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