₹200 Crore Extortion Case: Court Extends Jacqueline Fernandez Bail Till Tuesday

A Delhi court extended the temporary bail granted to Bollywood diva Jacqueline Fernandez in connection with a money laundering case involving conman Sukesh Chandrashekar in the ₹200 crore extortion case till Tuesday.

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By: Anand Singh | NEW DELHI
Updated: 11 November, 2022 6:40 pm IST
ED opposed Jacqueline Fernandez 's bail plea terming her flight risk (TNI photo by Sumit Kumar)

A Delhi court on Friday extended the temporary bail granted to Bollywood diva Jacqueline Fernandez in connection with a money laundering case involving conman Sukesh Chandrashekar in the ₹200 crore extortion case till Tuesday.

Special Judge Shailendra Malik, who had earlier granted the pre-arrest protection to Fernandez, said the order was not ready, adding that the court will deliver its order on November 15 at 4 pm.

The court reserved the order on Thursday after hearing arguments from the lawyers appearing for the actor as well as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the case for Friday morning.

While opposing the bail application of Fernandez, who has been named in the ED supplementary charge sheet that the agency filed in August this year, the financial probe agency argued that she is a flight risk and she can escape the country easily as she is not short of money.

The ED also argued that Fernandez tried to flee the country and didn’t cooperate in the investigation. The counsel Fernandez told the court that she is not a flight risk and she has cooperated in the probe.

The court on Thursday also asked ED why it has not arrested Fernandez despite issuing a Lookout Circular (LOC) against her, while other accused are in jail.

“Why haven’t you arrested her (Fernandez) yet despite issuing a LOC? Other accused are in jail. Why adopt a pick-and-choose policy?” the court had asked the ED, which had issued a LOC against the actor earlier this year.

Earlier on October 22, the ED also opposed the bail plea filed by the Bollywood actor in connection with ₹200 crore money laundering case, arguing that the Sri Lankan national has “huge stature and influence”.

While opposing her bail, ED said that it is a very genuine and reasonable apprehension of the prosecution that the mere presence of the applicant at large shall intimate the witnesses not to disclose any information regarding the ill-gotten money or money laundered by her.

“It is respectfully submitted that the applicant is not an ordinary person but a Bollywood actress having huge financial resources and hence has a high stature and influence in the society,” ED said.

ED also said that Fernandez has “never cooperated” with the investigation and only made the disclosure when confronted with evidence and statements.

The ED told the court that she initially did not admit the fact that she received both money and gifts and transferred it to her parents, brothers, and sisters, which had been otherwise established during the investigation.

The ED is investigating the money trail in a ₹200 crore extortion case against the conman. On September 1, a Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Delhi took cognizance of the ED chargesheet filed against Fernandez earlier this month.

The Bollywood actress is the only person named in the ED supplementary charge sheet filed in August this year.

The Delhi Police arrested Chandrasekhar for allegedly extorting approximately ₹215 crores from Aditi Singh and Shivender Singh, former promoters of pharmaceutical giant Ranbaxy.

In April of this year, the ED attached Fernandez’s properties worth ₹7.27 crore in connection with a money-laundering investigation involving conman Chandrasekhar.

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