ED objects to Jacqueline Fernandez’s plea for quashing money laundering case

Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez’s plea to quash the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) charges in the ₹200 crore money laundering case involving Sukesh Chandrashekhar faces opposition.

| Updated: 31 January, 2024 5:52 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez’s plea to quash the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) charges in the ₹200 crore money laundering case involving Sukesh Chandrashekhar faces opposition. The ED asserts that the case is distinct from police investigations, and being named a witness in the predicate offence does not absolve Jacqueline of potential money laundering charges. The Delhi High Court directed the ED to respond to Jacqueline’s petition, highlighting the contention that she accepted gifts from Sukesh despite knowing his criminal history.

Jacqueline’s legal representatives argue that she is an innocent victim and should not be prosecuted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. They claim that the ED’s investigation has been biased, citing the clean chit given to Nora Fatehi, who received a BMW car from Sukesh. Jacqueline alleges malafide intent in her arraignment compared to other individuals connected to the case.

The ED’s case relies on a single alleged news article shared with Jacqueline, suggesting her awareness of Sukesh’s imprisonment while accepting gifts. Jacqueline’s defense asserts that this evidence is insufficient to implicate her in money laundering.

The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police had previously filed a supplementary chargesheet in the extortion case, mentioning Pinky Irani’s involvement. Pinky, considered a close aide of Sukesh Chandrashekhar, introduced him to Jacqueline. The supplementary chargesheet details progress, including statements from Jacqueline Fernandez and Nora Fatehi.

The broader context of the case involves Sukesh Chandrasekhar’s alleged cheating and extortion of Aditi Singh, the wife of former Religare Enterprises promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh. Sukesh, posing as a government official, persuaded Aditi to transfer money for her husband’s bail, exploiting his alleged influence.

Jacqueline’s petition contends that the ED’s case lacks substance and is part of a biased investigation. The ED maintains that the charges are distinct from the police inquiry, and the nature of money laundering offences differs from scheduled offences. The court proceedings unfold amidst a complex web of allegations, implicating Bollywood figures in the larger financial fraud and extortion case led by Sukesh Chandrashekhar.

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