Delhi HC has allowed fraud accused Rana Ayyub to travel abroad albeit with certain pre-conditions. She has been accused of siphoning off funds collected in the name of help and charity through a website. She had sought interim relief from the court with regard to the embargo placed on her foreign travel by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Reporting on the issue, OpIndia notes:
According to reports, the Delhi HC specified that Rana Ayyub could travel to Italy provided she submitted an undertaking to return and deposit some money to show her bonafide. Rana’s counsel submitted that the journalist would return to India on April 11.
As per reports, the court stated that Ayyub has her old parents here in India and noted that the amount of alleged misappropriation is not ‘that big’, and is around just “10-12 crores”.
On Friday, the Delhi High Court had asked the Enforcement Directorate, on whose orders Ayyub was barred from leaving the country, to file a status report on its case against her by 2:30 pm on Monday.
Controversial ‘journalist’ Rana Ayyub had filed a petition requesting the Delhi High Court to allow her to travel outside India to attend an event. On March 29, she was stopped by Indian Immigration officials from boarding a flight to London concerning the money laundering case against her. She has been accused of financial fraud over allegations of violation of provisions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The Additional Solicitor General (ASG), appearing on behalf of the ED, opposed the removal of travel restrictions on the grounds of apprehension that she may not return. Furthermore, ASG also sought the imposition of certain conditions to make sure Ayyub returns. ASG Raju was of the opinion that her complete travel details should be made available to the authorities in their entirety.
“This case is not as simple as what is being portrayed. Rana Ayyub raised funds under the garb of covid relief and money running into up to 2 crores. They have been siphoned off. These were received in INR, Dollars. Fake bills were submitted by her in the name of relief work. A deposit of 50 lakh was created for herself by Rana Ayyub, and 50 lakhs were transferred for personal consumption. A lookout notice was issued much earlier”, Raju had pleaded in the court on Friday.
The ED filed a money laundering case against Ayyub for using the online platform Ketto to collect donations in the name of providing Covid relief but instead keeping the money in her personal account. The ED had attached her assets worth Rs 1.77 crore for alleged violations under the Money Laundering Act.
Many netizens were reminded of a 2010 case when Supreme Court upheld the one-year jail sentence for a municipal employee who had taken bribe of merely Rs. 50. They wondered whether the ostensible double standard in the present case was due to it involving a high-flying member of the Lutyens-Islamist cabal.