A day after Jacqueline Fernandez was named as an accused in a ₹200-crore extortion case connected to conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, the actor’s lawyer has claimed she is innocent. In a statement, her legal team added that Jacqueline is actually a victim of the crime and should not be treated as an accused. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had named Jacqueline as an accused in the case. Also read: ED names Jacqueline as accused in PMLA case linked to conman Sukesh
The ED has alleged that Chandrashekhar used money to purchase gifts for Jacqueline, which he had extorted by cheating high-profile people including former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife Aditi Singh. “Sukesh Chandrasekhar had given various gifts worth ₹5.71 crore to Jacqueline Fernandez from the proceeds of crime generated by criminal activities including extortion,” the ED had said in a statement. Jacqueline was questioned after pictures emerged that appeared to show she was in a relationship with Sukesh. She has been questioned multiple times in the case.
Speaking to ETimes, Jacqueline’s lawyer Prashant Patil said, “You have to understand the humanitarian side of this. When any person is innocent, and if she is charged with a fake offence, it definitely is painful and not fair. Without hearing Jacqueline’s side of story, it’s not fair to prosecute her with such untrue allegations. Nobody has bothered to read the evidence filed by the ED. The entire evidence reflects that she is innocent. Be it a common man or a celebrity, every person has a right to live with dignity. She has worked immensely hard in life to achieve what she has achieved in her profession. Such frivolous allegations only tarnish the image unnecessarily.”
In another statement, the lawyer claimed that Jacqueline was the victim here and stressed that she has been willingly cooperating with the authorities. “She has handed over all the information to the best of her ability to the ED. The agencies have failed to appreciate that she was cheated and conned into this matter. She is a victim of larger criminal conspiracy,” he said.
The ED in April provisionally attached ₹7.27 crore funds of the actor under the PMLA apart from ₹15 lakh cash as the agency called these funds as “proceeds of crime”. On Wednesday, after reports emerged that Jacqueline was to be named an accused in the case, the actor shared a cryptic note on social media addressed to ‘dear me’, which read ‘it’ll all be okay’. Jacqueline is yet to openly comment on the matter though.
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