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Jacqueline Fernandez moves Delhi HC for quashing of FIR against her in money laundering case

New Delhi: Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez has approached the Delhi High Court seeking to quash the FIR against her in the Enforcement Directorate’s Rs 200 crore money laundering case involving alleged conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar.

The petition, which is likely to come for hearing during the week, has also sought to quash the second supplementary charge sheet filed by the ED in the case and related proceedings pending before a trial court here.

“At the outset it is submitted that evidence filed by the Directorate of Enforcement would prove that the petitioner (Fernandez) is an innocent victim of Sukesh Chandrasekhar’s maliciously targeted attack. There is absolutely no indication that she had any involvement whatsoever in aiding him to launder his purportedly ill-gotten wealth. Hence, she cannot be prosecuted for the offences under Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act,” she submitted in the petition.

It said the prosecution complaint (charge sheet) filed against her confirmed that nowhere it has been alleged that she had the knowledge about the nefarious activities of accused no. 1 (Chandrasekhar) in extorting money from complainant Aditi Singh.

“The entire complaint is silent about even a remote allegation of knowledge as attributed to the petitioner. It is impossible to suggest that the petitioner knowingly engaged in any of the activities that is today punished by Section 3 of the PMLA,” the plea said.

Fernandez said she has been presented as a prosecution witness in the predicate offence in which the FIR was lodged by the Special Cell of Delhi Police and added that her statement has been recorded in that case which leads to a favourable conclusion in her favour.

This supports the contention that she had no knowledge whatsoever of the predicate offence committed by Chandrasekhar and his associates, she said.

“Once the investigating agency, in its discretion, has presented the petitioner as a prosecution witness in the predicate offence, it logically follows that any proceedings arising as a consequence of the predicate offence should be quashed,” the plea said.

It alleged that ED has acted in a partisan manner while arraigning her as an accused in the money laundering case.

“The ED has given a clean chit to Nora Fatehi (actress) despite it being an admitted fact on record that her family member received a BMW car from Sukesh Chandrasekhar on her instructions. It is of importance to note that the fact of Nora Fatehi receiving gifts from Sukesh Chandrasekhar has been presented to ED under the head ‘dissipation of proceeds of crime’,” it submitted.

The plea added that ED is playing hot and cold at the same time and in identical facts, Fernandez has been arraigned as an accused.

“… Aditi Singh has been identified as the original complainant and artists like Nora Fatehi whose family member received a BMW car, and other artists like Nikita Tamboli, Chahatt Khanna and Sophia Singh who physically visited the Tihar jail premises have not been arraigned as an accused. This reflects malafide investigation against the present petitioner,” it submitted.

Fernandez is an accused in a Rs 200 crore money laundering case lodged against Chandrashekar.

She has appeared before the ED for questioning in the money laundering investigation against Chandrasekhar and others.

The Delhi Police had earlier registered an FIR against Chandrashekar for allegedly duping the spouses of former promoters of Ranbaxy, Shivinder Singh, and Malvinder Singh, of Rs 200 crore besides ongoing investigations against him in several cases across the country.

Chandrasekhar and his wife Leena Paulose, facing proceedings in a money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate, were earlier arrested by Delhi Police, along with others.

The police have also invoked the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the case.

The Delhi Police had alleged that Paulose and Chandrasekhar along with others used hawala routes, created shell companies to park the money earned from proceeds of crime.

The petition, which is likely to comeforhearing during the week, has also sought toquashthe second supplementary charge sheet filed by the EDinthecaseand related proceedings pending before a trial court here.

“At the outset it is submitted that evidence filed by the DirectorateofEnforcement would prove that the petitioner (Fernandez) is an innocent victimofSukesh Chandrasekhar’s maliciously targeted attack. There is absolutely no indication that she had any involvement whatsoeverinaiding him tolaunderhis purportedly ill-gotten wealth. Hence, she cannot be prosecutedforthe offences under Sections 3 and 4ofthe PreventionofMoneyLaunderingAct,” she submittedinthe petition.

It said the prosecution complaint (charge sheet) filed against her confirmed that nowhere it has been alleged that she had the knowledge about the nefarious activities of accused no. 1 (Chandrasekhar) in extorting money from complainant Aditi Singh.

“The entire complaint is silent about even a remote allegationofknowledge as attributed to the petitioner. It is impossible to suggest that the petitioner knowingly engagedinanyofthe activities that is today punished by Section 3ofthe PMLA,” the plea said.

Fernandezsaid she has been presented as a prosecution witnessinthe predicate offenceinwhich theFIRwas lodged by the Special CellofDelhiPolice and added thatherstatement has been recordedinthatcasewhich leads to a favourable conclusioninherfavour.

This supports the contention that she had no knowledge whatsoeverofthe predicate offence committed by Chandrasekhar and his associates, she said.

“Once the investigating agency, in its discretion, has presented the petitioner as a prosecution witness in the predicate offence, it logically follows that any proceedings arising as a consequence of the predicate offence should be quashed,” the plea said.

It alleged that ED has actedina partisan manner while arraigningheras an accusedinthemoneylaunderingcase.

“The ED has given a clean chit to Nora Fatehi (actress) despite it being an admitted fact on record thatherfamily member received a BMW car from Sukesh Chandrasekhar onherinstructions. It isofimportance to note that the factofNora Fatehi receiving gifts from Sukesh Chandrasekhar has been presented to ED under the head ‘dissipationofproceedsofcrime’,” it submitted.

The plea added that ED is playing hot and cold at the same time andinidentical facts,Fernandezhas been arraigned as an accused.

“… Aditi Singh has been identified as the original complainant and artists like Nora Fatehi whose family member received a BMW car, and other artists like Nikita Tamboli, Chahatt Khanna and Sophia Singh who physically visited the Tihar jail premises have not been arraigned as an accused. This reflects malafide investigationagainstthe present petitioner,” it submitted.

Fernandez is an accused in a Rs 200 crore money laundering case lodged against Chandrashekar.

She has appeared before the ED for questioning in the money laundering investigation against Chandrasekhar and others.

The Delhi Police had earlier registered an FIR against Chandrashekar for allegedly duping the spouses of former promoters of Ranbaxy, Shivinder Singh, and Malvinder Singh, of Rs 200 crore besides ongoing investigations against him in several cases across the country.

Chandrasekhar and his wife Leena Paulose, facing proceedings in a money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate, were earlier arrested by Delhi Police, along with others.

The police have also invoked the Maharashtra ControlofOrganised Crime Act (MCOCA)inthecase.

The Delhi Police had alleged that Paulose and Chandrasekhar along with others used hawala routes, created shell companies to park the money earned from proceeds of crime.

(Published 19 December 2023, 08:59 IST)

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