Journalist Rana Ayyub moves Delhi HC challenging ED’s decision

Journalist sought directions from court to enable her to travel out of India

New Delhi: Journalist Rana Ayyub on Thursday moved the Delhi High Court challenging the Enforcement Directorate’s decision of not allowing her to travel abroad and being stopped at the airport on her way to London.

The journalist sought directions from the court to enable her to travel out of India. She also sought quashing of lookout circular issued against her, if any.

Rana Ayyub’s lawyer mentions the matter on Thursday before the bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi stated that She was stopped at the Airport from flying to London as she is accused in an alleged money laundering case, which is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

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The matter is likely to come up for hearing on Friday (tomorrow).

The plea states that, on March 29, 2022, the petitioner arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport to board an Air India flight to London, Heathrow, scheduled to depart at 14:25 hours, to attend events about the global problem of cyber attacks on women journalists, as well as to deliver a keynote speech on the status of journalism in India.

However, at around 12 noon, the Petitioner was detained in a room adjacent to the immigration counter, and she was informed that the immigration officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs were seeking clarifications regarding some “remark” on the Petitioner’s file.

The petitioner was then informed, over the course of the next hour, that the officers of MHA have instructions from the Enforcement Directorate to not allow the Petitioner to board her flight to London, and the immigration stamp on her passport was stamped as “Cancelled”, plea alleges.

Petitioner Journalist alleges that she has been harassed, humiliated, and insulted by the mala fide action of the Respondents, and the organisers of the journalist events in London and Italy have also suffered losses and experienced grave inconvenience and disturbance due to the arbitrary detention of the Petitioner at the airport on March 29, 2022.

The petitioner is required professionally to frequently travel across the globe, and unreasonable, arbitrary, and mala fide restrictions on such travel is a direct violation of the Petitioner’s right to free speech and expression, and right to practice her profession, as a member of the global and national media fraternity, plea read.

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