NEW DELHI : A Delhi court on Tuesday granted bail to actor Jacqueline Fernandez in a Rs 200 crore money laundering case involving alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar.
Additional Sessions Judge Shailender Malik granted bail to the actor on a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh and one surety of like amount. Earlier, during the bail arguments, the judge had warned ED not to implement a “pick and choose policy”, posing questions to the agency as to why it did not arrest her and was using different yardsticks in this case.
On ED’s plea to consider the gravity of the offence considering that this was an economic offence, the court did agree that such offences “not only affect the economy” but the very confidence of the general public.
“Economic offences, particularly offences of money laundering, affect the very fabric of democratic governance and economic health of that country since such offences are committed in a calculated and deliberate design with an objective of personal gain and to cause losses to the community and economic condition of the country,” the court said.
The court, however, noted that it was the prosecution’s case that the accused received gifts from Sukesh out of the proceeds of crime, and said that it would be decided during the trial “whether there was any knowledge, intention, or connection of accused in taking those gifts and of proceeds of crime in this case”.
The judge said that Jacqueline was entitled to the provisions which deal with bail under the money laundering act considering the fact that she was a woman and was not arrested by the ED in this case, and it did not agree that Jacqueline was a flight risk considering her passport is with the agency. The court also relied on a slew of judgements stating that once the accused is not arrested during the investigation, that fact itself makes out a case for the grant of bail.
Fernandez has been accused of enjoying the proceeds of a crime in which Chandrashekhar had allegedly extorted Rs 200 crore from Aditi Singh, the wife of former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Singh- Hindustan Times