Delhi HC Clears Journalist Rana Ayyub For Foreign Travel

Ayyub, who is a vocal critic of the government, was stopped at Mumbai airport last week as she had been accused of money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which is probing the case.
Delhi HC Clears Journalist Rana Ayyub For Foreign Travel
Journalist Rana Ayyub

Delhi High Court on Monday cleared journalist Rana Ayyub to travel abroad subject to certain conditions. She was last week barred from flying to London as she had a case of money laundering against her.

Ayyub, who is a vocal critic of the government, was stopped at Mumbai airport last week as she had been accused of money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which is probing the case.

She had challenged the move on Friday in the Delhi HC where the ED opposed the it saying that the charges were “serious in nature”.

Senior advocate Vrinda Grover, who is representing Ayyub, submitted to the court that “all money in her bank accounts have been seized. The mala fide is writ large. After February 1, there is no summon by ED and no communication from their side. The ED's action is nothing but a sham because my client is a critic of the government.”

The ED said that it is probing the alleged violation of foreign funding rules by the journalist who had collected donations for Covid-19 relief.

However, she tweeted that the ED’s summon reached her late, only after she had been stopped at Mumbai airport.

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Ayyub wrote, “I was stopped today at Mumbai immigration from travelling to deliver this address and onwards to International Journalism Festival to deliver the keynote speech on Indian democracy. I had made this announcement public over weeks, yet the ED summon very curiously arrived in my inbox after I was stopped.”

Notably, she had been invited to the United Kingdoms (UK) by Washington based non-profit organization, International Centre for Journalists for a discussion on online violence against women journalists.

The case of money laundering against her is based on an FIR filed in September last year with Ghaziabad Police in Uttar Pradesh. It was filed by Vikas Sankrityayan, a resident of Indirapuram in Ghaziabad and founder of an NGO called “Hindu IT Cell”.

According to the ED, the journalist raised over Rs 2.69 crore through online platform Ketto between 2020 and 2021 for charity. The probe made it clear that the amount had been raised in a completely pre planned manner and it had not been used for the intended purpose.

However, Ayyub has said “the entire donation received through Ketto is accounted for and not a single paisa has been misused.”

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