The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has opposed the plea moved by Bollywood diva Jacqueline Fernandez, who sought quashing of ECIR (FIR) and supplementary chargesheet filed by ED in Rs 200 crore money laundering case involving alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, said it’s not maintainable.
What did ED say?
In its reply stated the investigation carried out by the ED under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002 is different and distinct from the investigation of the police authorities, which is for the commission of scheduled offences. The accused in the offence of money laundering are bound to be in addition and/or different from the accused of the predicate offence as the nature of offence is distinct.
Plea submitted that merely the fact that the predicate agency has chosen to array the petitioner as a witness in the predicate offence does not ipso facto mean that she has not committed the offence of money laundering, which is a separate and distinct offence.
Recently, the Delhi High Court asked ED to file its reply on Jacqueline Fernandez’s petition. Earlier, ED had opposed the Jacqueline plea and submitted that she kept enjoying Sukesh’s gifts even after knowing his criminal antecedents.
About Money Laundering case against Sukesh Chandrasekhar
Senior advocate Siddharth Aggarwal and advocate Prashant Patil appeared for Jacqueline and submitted that being in the public eye and being labelled as money laundering is problematic. My prayer is to not quash the complaint completely; it’s only qua the present applicant, (Jacqueline).
“Sukesh is sitting in jail and carrying out extortion and fraud from there. EOW comes to me, records my statement, finds that what I have to say is relevant to their investigation. Ed have filed four complaints, but, investigation is still going on, the trial cannot start,” said senior advocate Siddharth Aggarwal.
Jacqueline, through her plea, stated that evidence filed by the Directorate of Enforcement would prove that the petitioner is an innocent victim of Sukesh Chandrashekhar’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, 2002.
Jacqueline also stated that the Directorate of Enforcement has acted in a partisan manner while arraigning the petitioner as an accused in the impugned complaint. The Directorate of Enforcement has given a clean chit to Nora Fatehi despite it being an admitted fact on record that her family member received a BMW car from Sukesh Chandrashekhar on her instructions. It is important to note herein that the fact of Nora Fatehi receiving a gift from Sukesh Chandrashekhar has been presented by the Directorate of Enforcement under the heading ‘Dissipation of proceeds of crime’.
(With ANI inputs)