New Delhi, Aug 17: A Delhi court has modified the bail conditions for Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez, who is one of the accused in the Rs 200 crore money laundering case in which jailed 'conman' Sukesh Chandrasekhar is the prime accused.
The court has allowed her to leave the country without prior permission, as long as she informs the court and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) three days prior to her departure.
The decision was made by Special Judge Shailendra Malik, who recognised that Jacqueline's professional commitments necessitate frequent overseas travel.
The judge noted that Jacqueline has never misused her bail conditions and that the initial requirement for prior permission could hinder her career opportunities.
The court noted that Jacqueline, a Sri Lankan citizen residing in India since 2009, has consistently paid income tax and has not violated any bail conditions.
The modification comes in response to Jacqueline's application stating that seeking court approval for travel often leads to financial losses and reputational implications due to the time-consuming processes.
Jacqueline has claimed that being an actor of international acclaim, she frequently engages in film shooting, appears at events, participates in various award functions etc., which are indispensable for her professional occupations and livelihood.
In certain situations, it becomes time-consuming for the accused to take the court’s approval for going abroad, which is mandatory under the terms of bail.
It was further claimed that due to that reason, she has faced certain situations wherein organisers, producers and other film industry professionals, on account of the time-consuming process of seeking court approval for leaving India, opted to engage other individuals, resulting in potential financial losses and reputational implications to her.
In July, the court had commenced hearing on the charges against Jacqueline, whom the court had granted pre-arrest bail on November 15, 2022.
The ED had recently filed its second supplementary charge sheet naming her as an accused in the case. Jacqueline and another Bollywood personality, Nora Fatehi, have recorded their statements as witnesses in the case.
Earlier, assets and fixed deposits worth Rs 7.2 crore belonging to Jacqueline were attached by the ED, which termed these "gifts" and "properties" as "proceeds" of crime received by the actor.
In February, the ED had filed its first supplementary charge sheet against Pinky Irani, an alleged aide of Chandrashekhar, who introduced him to Bollywood actors.
It had been alleged in the charge sheet that Pinky used to choose expensive gifts for Jacqueline and drop them at her residence after Chandrashekhar made the payments.
In December 2021, the probe agency had filed the first charge sheet in this matter.
As per official sources, Chandrashekhar has spent around Rs 20 crore on different models and Bollywood celebrities. A few had, however, refused to accept gifts from him.