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ED opposes journalist Rana Ayyub’s plea, says money laundering charges serious in nature

New Delhi [India], April 1 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate on Friday opposed journalist Rana Ayyub’s petition seeking to quash the ED’s Lookout Circular and its decision to stop her from flying abroad stating that the charges of money laundering against her are serious in nature.

Opposing Ayyub’s petition, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appearing for the ED submitted that she is involved in a serious offence of misappropriated funds. “She received the money in dollars along with Indian rupees for charity and to help the poor and migrants during the COVID-19 period. We have found that the money for relief work has been siphoned off and fake bills have been submitted by her,” Raju said.

The Bench of Justice Chander Dhari Singh on Friday sought a status report and listed the matter for April 4, 2022.

Appearing for Petitioner Rana Ayyub, Advocate Vrinda Grover submitted 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.”

On Thursday, Rana Ayyub had moved to the Delhi High Court challenging ED’s decision to stop her from flying abroad. She sought directions from the Court to enable her to travel out of India and quashing of a lookout circular issued against her.

The plea stated that, on March 29, 2022, the petitioner arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport to board an Air India flight to London, Heathrow, scheduled to depart at 14:25 hours, to attend events about the global problem of cyber attacks on women journalists, as well as to deliver a keynote speech on the status of journalism in India. However, at around noon, the petitioner was detained in a room adjacent to the immigration counter, and she was informed that the immigration officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs were seeking clarifications regarding some “remark” on the petitioner’s file.

The petitioner was then informed, over the course of the next hour, that the officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have instructions from the Enforcement Directorate to not allow the Petitioner to board her flight to London, and the immigration stamp on her passport was stamped as “cancelled”, plea alleges.

Ayyub alleged that she has been harassed, humiliated, and insulted by the mala fide action of the ED, and the organisers of the journalist events in London and Italy have also suffered losses and experienced grave inconvenience and disturbance due to the arbitrary detention of the petitioner at the airport on March 29, 2022.

The petitioner is required professionally to frequently travel across the globe, and unreasonable, arbitrary, and mala fide restrictions on such travel is a direct violation of the Petitioner’s right to free speech and expression, and right to practice her profession, as a member of the global and national media fraternity, the plea read. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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