No interim relief for Rana Ayyub, HC seeks ED’s response

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The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the response of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the plea filed by journalist Rana Ayyub seeking permission to travel abroad after she was restrained by the agency from leaving the country.

However, the bench has not granted any interim relief to her and she is likely to miss a scheduled keynote address at an international conference in London.

Justice Chandra Dhari Singh will hear the matter further on April 4.

The bench also asked the ED to file a status report on its case against her by 2.30 p.m. on April 4.

Rana Ayyub approached the High Court seeking relief on her travel restrictions by the agency as she had to travel abroad on Friday.

She is facing a Prevention of Money Laundering case for allegedly misusing funds collected for charity through the website ketto.com, and the ED in February attached her assets worth Rs 1.77 crore claiming that the money was traced to the proceeds of crime.

The international journalist was stopped at the Mumbai Airport on Tuesday when she was about to board a flight to the UK to deliver a speech at the International Centre for Journalists. She has accused the ED of summoning her despite making her programme public in advance.

She had alleged that the ED’s summon arrived in her inbox after she was stopped at the airport.

The ED claimed that its investigations found that the funds were raised in the name of charity in a completely pre-planned and systematic manner but were not utilised completely for the purpose for which they were raised.

It said Ayyub parked some of the funds by opening a separate current bank account, and also created a fixed deposit of Rs 50 lakh from the funds raised by Ketto and subsequently did not utilise them for relief work.

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