Journalist Rana Ayyub conditionally permitted to travel abroad

Rana was stopped at Mumbai airport on March 29, when she was about to board a flight to the UK to deliver a speech on the same day.
A file photo of Rana Ayyub
A file photo of Rana Ayyub
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The Delhi High Court, on Monday, April 4, permitted journalist Rana Ayyub to travel abroad on certain conditions, while hearing her plea challenging the restrictions by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from leaving the country. She was stopped at Mumbai airport, on March 29, when she was about to board a flight to the UK to deliver a speech at the International Centre for Journalists (ICJ) on the same day.

Advocate Vrinda Grover appeared in court for Rana Ayyub. After hearing the matter in detail, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh allowed her to go abroad on certain conditions, including a deposit of some amount. She was also asked to inform the probe officials about her stay in the foreign countries and share contact details.

Earlier, the bench had asked the ED to file a status report on its case against her by 2.30 pm on April 4. 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, and the ED in February attached her assets worth Rs 1.77 crore claiming that the money was traced to the proceeds of crime.

Accusing 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 claimed 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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