SC respite for Rana Ayyub till month-end
The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted temporary respite to journalist Rana Ayyub for alleged money laundering offences, as it asked the special CBI court, Ghaziabad, to defer the trial proceedings to any date after January 31, since the top court would hear on that day her plea challenging the validity and maintainability of the proceedings initiated against her by the Enforcement Directorate.
Initially, a bench of Justice Krishna Murari and Justice V. Ramasubramanian wanted Ayyub to approach Allahabad High Court for relief instead of directly approaching the apex court but later agreed to hear the matter on January 31, following repeated requests from senior counsel Vrinda Grover appearing for the journalist.
Grover told the bench that Ayyub was facing severe threats from alleged fundamentalists.
The bench, also on the request of solicitor-general Tushar Mehta appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, said: “This order is being passed because the hearing cannot be concluded due to paucity of time and not on merits.”
Ayyub was earlier summoned by the Ghaziabad court to appear before it on January 27 which she has chosen to challenge on the ground that the allegations were mala fide and moreover, the offence can be tried only by a court in Mumbai on jurisdictional grounds.