Money laundering case: Jacqueline Fernandez withdraws petition to travel abroad
Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez withdrew her petition before the Patiala House Court in Delhi, seeking permission to travel to Bahrain. The plea was withdrawn on Thursday with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raising its objection to it, given the Rs. 200cr extortion case is ongoing. Fernandez is an accused in this case. She sought the court's permission to meet her parents who reside in Bahrain.
Why does this story matter?
- The ED has named Fernandez as an accused in its supplementary charge sheet in the Rs. 200 crore money laundering case involving alleged conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar. Per the ED, Fernandez, who received expensive gifts from Chandrasekhar, was well aware of his criminal background.
- Fernandez is not permitted to leave the country and was also stopped at the Mumbai airport in December 2021.
Case is at a crucial stage: Judge told Fernandez
Justice Shailendra Malik who was hearing Fernandez's plea told her that the case was at a crucial stage. "I understand you want to meet your mother. We're all emotional toward our parents, but why do you need to travel abroad at such a crucial time...You can withdraw the application and let the question of charge first be decided. Otherwise, I'll pass a judicial order."
ED objected to Fernandez's plea
The counsel representing the ED objected to Fernandez's plea. In its objection, the ED said that it was not viable for the actor to travel abroad at this juncture of the case. "She is an actor, though her career is destroyed here, it would not be viable for her to travel abroad...We have apprehension," said the ED's counsel.
Fernandez's lawyer withdrew the plea after consulting the actor
The actor's counsel argued that Fernandez would not skip any court hearing. Her lawyer said primary accused (Chandrasekhar) will argue on the case's next date (January 6) and that Fernandez's "turn would take some time." Ultimately, the lawyer withdrew the petition after consulting the actor. Earlier this year, Fernandez's mother was admitted to a hospital in Bahrain after she suffered a heart stroke.