Supreme Court dismisses plea by journalist Rana Ayyub in PMLA case
The Top Court has dismissed the plea filed by journalist Rana Ayyub that challenged the jurisdiction of a Ghaziabad court which started proceedings against her in a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case.
A Bench comprising of Justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice JB Pardiwala in their order said that under Section 3 of the PMLA,the place where concealment, possession, acquisition, use, projecting it as untainted property or claiming it as untainted property takes place is the place where the offence of money laundering is said to have taken place.
The Court further added that the place where bank account in Navi Mumbai is the destination to which the process of crime have reached.
The court also said that the question whether the place at which any of the six activities have taken place is based upon the evidence. Therefore, we leave it open to raise this issue before the trial court on the basis of evidence and dismissing the Writ Petition.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday had reserved its order in the PMLA case of journalist Rana Ayyub’s where she had challenged the jurisdiction of the Ghaziabad court, that had begun a proceedings against her.
The Bench of Justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice J.B. Pardiwala reserved the order after arguments were concluded today.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a case against Ayyub on the basis of a First Information Report (FIR) registered in September, 2021 at Indirapuram Police Station in Ghaziabad under provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Information Technology Amendment Act and the Black Money Act.
As per the FIR, it was alleged that Rana had illegally acquired funds from the general public in the name of charity by launching fundraiser campaigns on online crowd funding platform Ketto.
It added that the journalist also recieved foreign contributions without registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
Investigation by ED revealed that Ayyub launched three fundraiser campaigns and collected funds totalling Rs 2.69 crore.
1. Raising funds for farmers and slum-dwellers.
2. Funds for relief work for Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra;
3. Funds to help those impacted by Covid-19 in India.
As per ED, the funds raised were received in her father and sister’s accounts, and were subsequently transferred to her personal accounts. Further, she allegedly utilised these funds to create a fixed deposit of Rs 50 lakh for herself and transferred another Rs 50 lakh to a new bank account.
The investigation revealed that only Rs 28 lakh were used for relief work, whereas a bank balance of Rs 1.7 crore was attached by the agency on February 4, 2022.
As per the investigation by ED, it was revealed that Ayyub illegally raised Rs 2.69 crore by launching three online campaigns in the name of charity by cheating the general public donors.
These funds were not used for the intended purpose, instead used for creation of assets for herself, added the national agency.