Delhi court grants Jacqueline Fernandez bail in ₹200-cr extortion case

Special Judge Shailendra Malik granted interim relief to Fernandez and allowed her interim bail application of ₹50,000.

New Delhi A Delhi court on Monday granted interim bail to Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez in connection with her alleged involvement in allegedly defrauding Aditi Singh, wife of former Fortis promoter Shivinder Singh, of ₹200 crore. Conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar is the main accused in the case.

Special Judge Shailendra Malik granted interim relief to Fernandez and allowed her interim bail application of ₹50,000. The court also sought the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) response to the 37-year-old actor’s routine bail application and posted the matter to October 22.

Advocate Prashant Patil, appearing for Fernandez, told the court that she has always cooperated with the investigating agencies and appeared before them on all the days she was summoned. “She relayed all the information to the best of her ability to the ED,” he said.

Earlier on August 31, the court had issued summons to Fernandez to appear before it physically on September 26 after taking cognizance of the supplementary chargesheet filed against her by the ED. The chargesheet, filed on 17 August in the ₹200 crore extortion case, named the actor as an accused.

Meanwhile, in her regular bail application filed by advocate Patil and Aman Nandrajog, Fernandez denied “unity of design with Sukesh” and said she was herself a victim of circumstances and criminal acts committed by the con artist and his associates.

The petition states that while she never denied receiving the donations, at no time did she know they were proceeds of crime “because of the fraudulent and ambiguous behavior of Sukesh, which she has suffered and continues to suffer.” suffer, great hardship”.

“In fact, Jacqueline is another victim of the crimes committed by the main accused and his associates who have consistently lied about their true identity and unduly influenced the complainant’s personal and professional life either by showering her (and her family) with expensive gifts or by claiming that he had , would do so without ever stating their source,” the bail plea read, adding that she was “misled” into accepting the donations.

Fernandez, a Sri Lankan citizen, said she had been a tax payer in India since 2009 and that her “professional reputation and future employment commitments” were “intrinsically linked” to the country, adding that she was cooperating and participating in the enforcement proceedings in the case at hand .

“There is no risk of her leaving the Indian jurisdiction without proper permission as the Look Out Circular has been opened against her and continues,” the petition said.

Last week, the actress was questioned for more than seven hours by the Economic Offenses Branch of the Delhi Police – the second time she has been summoned for questioning by the Delhi Police over her alleged role in the case.

Amidst the investigation, the actor confessed before the cops that Chandrashekhar had paid a huge amount of money to fashion designer Leepakshi to design exclusive costumes for her, HT reported.

Her friendship with Chandrashekhar – an accused in more than 10 cases – started on WhatsApp in January 2021 and she met the con man secretly on many occasions at a well-known hotel in Chennai and other places, she told cops. , the report further emphasized.

In its charge sheet against Fernandez, the ED said the actress consciously chose to gloss over Chandrashekhar’s criminal background, adding that she was directly/indirectly involved in the ₹200 crore fraud.

The ED said the actress “self-confessed that she found various articles on Google searches on Sukesh Chandrashekhar which reflected his criminal antecedents”, even as she tried to come out innocent about her relationship with the fraudster, who was booked in three different fraud cases. .

“Despite knowing the criminal antecedents of Sukesh, Jacqueline Fernandez received gifts and money from Sukesh in cash and bank channel from January 2021 to July 2021 until he was arrested by the Delhi Police in the matter. Jacqueline Fernandez never revealed the truth about the financial transactions with Sukesh Chandrasekhar and always concealed the facts until she was confronted by him…,” the charge sheet said.

The ED said that during the investigation, they found that both Sukesh and Fernandez were in collusion with each other and tried to support each other during the confrontation of the evidence.

The Delhi Police is also expected to question Leepakshi to “investigate the money trail of gifts presented by actors”.

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