The Supreme Court has reportedly requested a Ghaziabad court to defer its hearing in the PMLA case against Rana Ayyub until it holds a detailed hearing on the journalist’s petition – against the summons issued to her – on January 31.
The Ghaziabad court was set to hear the case on January 27. Ayyub had last week approached the apex court against the summons issued to her.
As the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, the top court said its request to defer the hearing in Ghaziabad did not reflect the merit of the case and was only a decision taken due to lack of time, the Hindu . A bench of Justices Krishna Murari and V Ramasubramanian posted the matter for detailed hearing on January 31.
Senior advocate Vrinda Grover, representing Ayyub, sought an urgent listing last week when the matter came up before a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha. However, the court had listed the matter for this week.
In October last year, the Enforcement Directorate had filed a complaint against the journalist at the Ghaziabad court over alleged violations in raising funds for Covid relief. The central agency had previously locked Ayyub’s assets worth over Rs 1.77 crore.
Ayyub, who writes for influential international news platforms such as the Washington Post and is often critical of the Narendra Modi government, has been under investigation since she was named in an FIR in 2021 for allegedly raising money for charity but using it herself. In March last year, the journalist was stopped from flying out to London after she received summons from the ED.
The journalist had raised money for three relief campaigns on Ketto since early 2020 for those affected by Covid, floods and the caused by the Covid lockdown. In an email on August 27, 2021, Ketto told donors of Ayyub’s campaigns that she had raised Rs 2.69 crore, of which she spent Rs 1.25 crore and would pay Rs 90 lakh in taxes.
But did Ayyub’s Covid fundraisers really violate the FCRA? to find out.