BREAKING: Supreme Court dismisses Rana Ayyub's plea challenging summons issued to her in financial fraud case

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Enforcement Directorate had registered a case against Ayyub after investigation revealed that funds raised on Ketto were received in her father and sister's accounts and subsequently transferred to her personal accounts.

A Division Bench of the Supreme Court today dismissed the writ petition filed by Rana Ayyub challenging the summons issued to her by Ghaziabad Court in a case registered against her by the Enforcement Directorate pertaining to her fundraiser campaigns on the ‘Ketto platform’.

Justice V Ramasubramanian, who pronounced the verdict in Court today said,

"We have said that under Section 3 of PMLA, the place where any of the six activities or processes are carried out, is the place where the offence under PMLA is said to have taken place. We are keeping this question open, to be raised after investigation. Thus, we dismiss this petition."

On the last hearing, Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing on behalf of Ayyub had submitted before a bench of Justices Ramasubramanian and Pardiwala, "The only court which has jurisdiction to take cognizance, is the one at Navi Mumbai, if at all. Why am I being taken to Ghaziabad?".

Referring to the provisions under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Grover had added, "Its a very strict law and the trial will cull out the truth. Why am I being taken to a court where there is a threat to my personal liberty and safety?"

"FIR is filed in Indirapuram, the ED investigation is through the Delhi Zonal office. The funds according to them are in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra. The cognizance order is from a court in Ghaziabad. My submission is Ghaziabad has no jurisdiction...", Court was further told on Ayyub's behalf.

Replying to Grover's submission, SG Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate had told court that the complainant had brought in requisite information, and that he may be a loud mouth, but that could not be used by Ayyub as a defense.

"People are donating crores of money for a good cause, without knowing where the money is going... she may be using it for her own joy...", SG Mehta further told Court.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked the Ghaziabad Special Court to adjourn the proceedings in the case against Ayyub to a date after 31st January.

In October last year, ED initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR alleging that Ayyub illegally acquired funds totaling Rs. 2.69 Crores from the general public in the name of charity by launching fund-raiser campaigns on an online crowdfunding platform ‘Ketto’ starting in April 2020. It was also alleged that Ayyub who is a journalist by profession received foreign contributions without registration under FCRA.

Ayyub's case was mentioned before a CJI Chandrachud led bench by Advocate Vrinda Grover, who sought an urgent hearing. Court had acceded to the request and agreed to hear the case on Monday, January 23, 2023.


ED's investigation revealed that the funds raised on the online platforms were received in the accounts of Ayyub's father and sister and subsequently transferred to her personal accounts.

Additionally, Ayyub utilized these funds to create a fixed deposit of Rs. 50 lakhs for herself and also transferred Rs. 50 Lakhs in a new bank account, ED submitted. "Whereas, it was also revealed that only an amount of approximately Rs. 29 lakhs was used for relief work", ED's complaint stated. 

ED has alleged that Ayyub tried to project these funds as untainted and thus laundered the funds received from the general public.

It has also been alleged that Ayyub had launched the aforesaid campaigns with the sole intention to cheat the general public and acquired the proceeds of crime in form of FD and balances in bank accounts projecting them as untainted.

It may be noted, Ayyub had also moved a plea before the Delhi High Court against the attachment of funds by the Enforcement Directorate in the same matter.

In February, the Enforcement Directorate attached Ayyub's assets worth Rs 1.77 crore in connection with alleged irregularities in the collection of charitable funds for COVID relief work.

ED stated that the FIR was filed in response to a complaint filed by Vikas Sankrityayan of Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, on August 28, 2021.

ED further stated that the aforementioned FIR revealed that Ayyub raised huge amounts in crores via the 'Ketto' platform (an online crowdfunding platform) in three campaigns, namely Funds for slum dwellers and farmers during April-May 2020, Relief work for Assam, Bihar, and Maharashtra during June-September 2020, and Help for Covid-19 impacted people in India during May-June 2021.

Case Title: Rana Ayyub vs. ED