The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has told the Delhi High Court that Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez was knowingly involved in the possession and use of proceeds of crime of arrested ‘conman’ Sukesh Chandrasekhar, facing charges along with the actor in a ₹200-crore money laundering case.
The central probe agency said this in an affidavit filed on January 27 in response to the actor’s plea seeking the quashing of an FIR against her in the case.
The Delhi police have accused Chandrashekar of duping Aditi Singh, the wife of former Ranbaxy promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh, of ₹200 crore with the promise of securing bail for her husband, who is lodged in jail in a criminal case.
The Sri Lankan-origin actor has been accused of being complicit in laundering the extorted money.
The ED told the court that she never revealed the truth regarding the financial transactions with Chandrasekhar and always concealed facts until confronted with evidence.
“She continues to hold back the truth even till date. It is also a fact that Fernandez wiped out the entire data from her mobile phone after the arrest of Chandrasekhar, thereby tampering with the evidence,” the ED said.
“She also asked her colleagues to destroy the evidence. Evidence proves beyond doubt that she had been enjoying, using and is in possession of proceeds of crime. Thus, it is proved that Fernandez was knowingly involved in the possession and use of proceeds of crime of accused Chandrasekhar,” it added.
The ED said initially in her statements, the actor tried to cover up her conduct by claiming that she has been the victim of Chandrasekhar. However, during investigation, she failed to provide any substantial material to establish victimisation by him, the probe agency said.
The ED said initially Fernandez did not admit receiving huge sums of money and valuable gifts from him for her family in India and abroad and added that these luxury items were proceeds of crime being generated out of criminal activity.
In her plea, Fernandez said, “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”.
The High Court listed the case for further hearing on April 15 after the counsel representing the actor sought time to file rejoinder in response to the ED’s affidavit.