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SC asks Ghaziabad Court to adjourn hearing till Jan 31 in case against journalist Rana Ayyub
New Delhi: In a relief to journalist Rana Ayyub, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Ghaziabad Special Court to adjourn till January 31 the hearing of the case where summons were issued to the journalist in relation to a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case registered against her by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
A bench of Justices Krishna Murari and V Ramasubramanian asked the Ghaziabad court to adjourn the case and posted Ayyub's plea for hearing before it on January 31 against the summons issued by the Ghaziabad court. The bench in its order said, "We will hear the case on January 31. In the meantime, Ghaziabad Special Court Anti-corruption is requested to adjourn the hearing fixed for January 27 to a date after January 31. This order is being passed because hearing cannot be concluded (by Supreme Court) due to paucity of time and not on merits."
Ghaziabad court on November 29 issued summon to Ayyub and asked her to appear before it on January 27.
Ayyub has approached the top court challenging the order Ghaziabad court.
During the hearing, advocate Vrinda Grover appearing for Ayyub told the bench that she is raising a jurisdictional issue that the Ghaziabad court has no jurisdiction to hear the matter.
The prosecution complaint ought to have been filed in Mumbai, where the offence is alleged to have taken place, Grover said, adding that the alleged proceeds of the crime are at a bank account in Navi Mumbai and no part of the offence took place in Uttar Pradesh.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, opposed Ayyub's plea saying she can seek regular remedies.
"Every citizen is equal in the eyes of the law. File anticipatory bail application," he said.
To this, Grover replied, "Not in UP."
Solicitor General took objection to Grover's response and said "Aspersion are being cast on the entire state."
In October 2022, the ED filed a complaint against her before the Ghaziabad court over alleged violations in publicly raising funds.
ED had registered the case on the basis of a complaint registered in September 2021 in Ghaziabad under provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Information Technology Amendment Act and Black Money Act against Ayyub.
It was alleged in the FIR that she illegally acquired funds from the general public in the name of charity by launching fundraiser campaigns.
Ayyub received foreign contributions without registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), it was alleged. (ANI)