SC asks UP court to adjourn Rana Ayyub case hearing till Jan 31

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked a special court in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad to defer the hearing in the money laundering case against journalist Rana Ayyub to any day after January 31 in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case registered against her by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Rana has been summoned by a trial court in Ghaziabad in relation to a prosecution complaint filed by the ED.which had initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered on September 7, 2021 by the Indirapuram Police Station of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh under various sections of the IPC, Information Technology Amendment Act 2008, and Black Money Act

A bench of Justices Krishna Murari and V Ramasubramanian was informed by advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for Rana, that the petitioner has been summoned by the Ghaziabad court on January 27, according to Bar and Bench.

“We will hear the case on January 31. In the meantime Ghaziabad Special Court Anti-corruption 1 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,” the apex court ordered.

“List on January 31. In the meantime, the Ghaziabad special court is requested to adjourn the proceedings…fixed for January 27 to a date after January 31,” the bench said.

The SC said this order is being passed because the hearing could not be concluded before it on Wednesday due to paucity of time and it is not a reflection on the merits of the matter.

Court Proceeding

Rana moved the apex court contending that the UP court does not have jurisdiction to hear the matter since the complaint arose in Mumbai and the Delhi Zonal Office of ED was investigating the matter.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, opposed Rana’s plea saying she can seek regular remedies, according to PTI.

“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.”

“Can’t this question be decided by the jurisdictional high court?” the bench asked.

On August 17 last year, the Delhi High Court had restrained the ED from proceeding further with the provisional attachment of funds in connection with the probe against her.

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