A Delhi Court on Tuesday granted bail to Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez in an alleged money laundering case of Rs. 200 crores. The alleged Conman Sukesh Chandra Shekar is also an accused in this case.
Special Judge Shailendra Malik of Patiala House Court granted bail to Jacqueline Fernandes. Earlier she was granted interim bail.
The Court had raised questions that why the agency did not arrest her during the investigation. The court had said that the agency arrested some accused while the others were not. “Why this policy of pick and choose?,” the Court questioned.
Jacquline’s Counsel senior advocate Siddharth Agarwal and Prashant Patil submitted that the actress cooperated with the investigation and her statement was recovered 5 times.
They also submitted that she was not arrested during the investigation and supplementary charge sheet has been filed and she is also a woman. This proposition ought not to be altered by the court.
It was also argued that she was not aware that the gifts she received were out of proceeds of crime. In these circumstances, she is entitled to bail.
On the other hand counsel for ED submitted that she has a history of attempting to flee the country. She did not cooperate in the investigation.
Apart from this, she is economically sound, she can influence the investigation and win over the witnesses.
She possessed, used, and enjoyed the proceeds of crime, ED argued. It is the role of the accused. The investigation is still going on, any other may crop up.
ED’s counsel also submitted that she is a foreign national and has roots in Sri Lanka. Her parents live in Bahrain, her brother is living in Australia and her sister is in another country. She may flee if she is enlarged on bail.
She can not be granted bail only ground of the accused is a woman as she did not cooperate in the investigation.
In these circumstances she may not be granted bail, ED’s counsel submitted.
Earlier, she was granted interim bail in the matter by the trial court.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its reply opposing the regular bail plea of Jacqueline stated that she never cooperated with the investigation and only made the disclosure when confronted with evidence.
Jacqueline was informed about Sukesh’s criminal antecedents within 10 days of her introduction to him. She is no ordinary person but a Bollywood actress with huge financial resources and hence high stature and influence mentioned in the ED.
The Additional Sessions Judge earlier issued notice to ED on Jacqueline’s regular bail petition and granted interim bail to her till the pendency of the regular bail petition.
On August 17, 2022, a supplementary charge sheet was filed by the Enforcement Directorate in the Rs 200 crore extortion case against conman Sukesh Chandrashekar in a Delhi Court mentioned the name of Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez as an accused.
Jacqueline Fernandez has also been summoned by ED several times in the matter for the purpose of investigation.
Advocate Prashant Patil appeared for Jacquline and stated that she has always cooperated with the investigation agencies and attended all the summons to date. “She has handed over all the information to the best of her ability to the ED,” he said.
According to ED’s earlier Chargesheet, Bollywood actresses Jacqueline Fernandez and Nora Fatehi examined and stated that the actresses got top models of BMW cars, the most expensive gifts from the accused Sukesh.
ED charge sheet clearly stated, “During the investigation, statements of Jacqueline Fernandez were recorded on August 30, 2021, and October 20, 2021, Jacqueline Fernandez stated, “she received gifts viz three designer bags from Gucci, Chanel, and two Gucci outfits for gym wear. A pair of Louis Vuitton shoes, two pairs of diamond earrings and a bracelet of multi-coloured stones, two Hermes bracelets. She also received a Mini Cooper which she returned.”
According to ED, Sukesh was confronted with Jacqueline on October 20, 2021.
Jacqueline Fernandez stated that Sukash Chandrasekhar had arranged private jet trips and hotel stays on different occasions for herself.
Statements of Nora Fatehi were recorded under section 50 of PMLA, 2002 on September 12, 2021, and October 14, 2021, wherein she stated that she got a booking for a charity event and during the event, she was gifted a Gucci Bag and one iPhone by Leena Paulose. (Wife of Chandrashekhar)
Nora further stated that Leena Paulose had called her husband and put the phone on speaker where he thanked her and said that they were her fans. She then announced that they would gift her a Brand new BMW car as a token of love and generosity.
The court had listed the matter for hearing arguments on charges in the matter on November 24 and 25. (ANI)
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