Delhi High Court stops PMLA Adjudicating Authority from acting on temporary attachment decision in the Rana Ayyub case


The respondent must refrain from taking any more actions until the next date of listing [November 11], as provided for in Section 8 of the 2002 Prevention of Money Laundering Act. In a ruling on a petition submitted by Ayyub through Advocate Vrinda Grover and Soutik Banerjee, Justice Yashwant Varma stated that the petitioner “shall also stand restrained from disposing of or creating any third party rights or encumbering the property forms which subject matter of the provisional order of attachment.”

In relation to the cash she raised through the Ketto platform to aid people during the epidemic, the ED had filed a case against Ayyub and accused her of not using the funds entirely for the purpose for which they were raised.

Ayyub requested in his appeal to the court that the court declare and rule that the provisional attachment order issued by the ED on February 4, 2022 has expired and no longer exists after 180 days. The Adjudicating Authority has been declared “functus officio,” rendering the proceedings before it no longer maintainable.

Justice Varma informed the ED of Ayyub’s petition and requested an affidavit within six weeks, noting that the court had already ruled that the adjudicating authority would cease to exist after the allotted 180 days had passed. The decision is being contested before the division bench, the court added. The court stated, “Matter warrants consideration.”

ED had submitted a complaint to the adjudicating authority, and on March 8 Ayyub had been given a show-cause notice. According to the petition, she replied to the same on April 16 within the allotted period. “Therefore, there was no delay in the proceedings until the petitioner’s reply was filed, and they were in accordance with the statute’s time limits as well as the instructions provided by the Ld. Adjudicating Authority in a note that was attached to the recording of reasons pursuant to Section 8(1) PMLA. The petition states that the respondent’s extremely tardy answer on 22 July 2022, was the only reason for the delay.

The petition states that the date for the proceedings’ concluding arguments was set for July 4 and was expected to take place on August 3. The provisional attachment order, however, was only effective until August 2. The petition further claims that Ayyub’s request to have the proceedings dropped was made before the adjudicating authority on August 3 but was denied.

The lawyer for Ayyub stated before the HC that “the present petition raises a short question of law, which it is humbly submitted has been wrongly decided by the Ld. Adjudicating Authority,” adding that the Adjudicating Authority is no longer able to issue a confirmation order in accordance with Section 8 (3) of the PMLA.


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