Jacqueline Fernandez was on Monday granted interim bail by a Delhi courtroom in a Rs 200 crore cash laundering case in opposition to alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekar. Particular Decide Shailendra Malik granted Fernandez the aid on a private bond of Rs 50,000 and posted the matter for additional listening to on October 22.
Fernandez, who was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate a number of occasions in reference to the investigation, has been named as an accused for the primary time in a second supplementary chargesheet filed by the ED.
The company’s earlier chargesheet and a supplementary chargesheet didn’t point out her as an accused. In response to the ED, Fernandez and fellow actor Nora Fatehi had acquired luxurious automobiles and different costly items from Chandrashekar. The company termed the items and properties as “proceeds” of crime.
News18 takes a take a look at the case because it stands right this moment, the characters concerned and the timeline of occasions that landed Bollywood names in bother.
THE CONMAN AND THE CASE
Accused of duping the wealthy — businessmen, politicians and celebrities alike — multi-millionaire conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar hit the headlines after sleuths from the Enforcement Directorate landed at his luxurious sea-facing bungalow in Chennai in August 2021 in reference to a money-laundering case.
What was inside astonished them. To begin with, the worth of the bungalow bumped into crores. It had a film theatre, gymnasium, swimming pool and rooftop leisure space, together with a mini bar. All of the rooms within the bungalow had been furnished with costly furnishings and the eating room had a sprawling desk.
A fleet of luxurious automobiles — Lamborghini, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Bentley, Mercedes, BMW and Land Rover — had been lined up exterior the home, in addition to tons of of pairs of pricy sneakers discovered inside.
Born in a decrease middle-class household in Bengaluru, Chandrashekar all the time dreamt of changing into a millionaire and began conning individuals from the age of 17. In 2007, he duped round 100 individuals of Rs 75 crore on the pretext of offering them jobs, posing as a high-ranking bureaucrat. After a number of years, he additionally duped politician TTV Dinakaran of Rs 50 crore.
The Crime Department of the Delhi Police arrested Chandrashekar based mostly on Dinakaran’s grievance, following which he was lodged in Tihar Jail. However the conman allegedly continued to run his racket from contained in the jail.
He’s accused of extorting Rs 200 crore from the household of ex-Fortis Healthcare and Ranbaxy Lab promoters, Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, from throughout the premises of the high-security jail. Chandrashekar was reportedly paying Rs 75 lakh per fortnight as bribe for a cell phone contained in the jail.
He allegedly referred to as up Shivinder’s spouse posing as Union Legislation Secretary Anoop Kumar and provided assist in getting bail for her husband. In August 2020, he used a spoofing app to fake that he was calling from then Union Legislation Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s residence.
In November 2021, the Delhi Police filed a chargesheet in opposition to the conman, his spouse Leena Maria Paul and 12 others within the extortion case. Greater than 30 legal instances are reportedly registered in opposition to Chandrashekar and Leena and are pending earlier than varied courts.
Plenty of Bollywood actresses, together with Jacqueline Fernandez and Nora Fatehi, have additionally been questioned within the case for alleged hyperlinks to Chandrashekar. The case, in actual fact, gained prominence after it emerged that the celebrities acquired costly items from the conman, with Chandrashekar even mentioned to be in a relationship with Fernandez.
Actress Jacqueline Fernandez is being investigated over allegations of receiving luxurious items from Chandrashekar purchased utilizing the proceeds of crime. In response to investigators, her items included luxurious automobiles Maserati and a Porsche, which price above Rs 1 crore. She additionally acquired a Mini Cooper Automobile which prices one other Rs 50 lakh.
Fernandez allegedly additionally acquired 4 Persian cats, designer baggage from Gucci and Chanel, and a pair of Louis Vuitton sneakers. There have been a complete of 20 items of jewelry, 65 pairs of sneakers, 47 fabric objects, 32 baggage, and 9 work, amongst different issues, mentioned sources.
The actor was questioned for over eight hours on September 14 by the Financial Offences Wing of Delhi Police.
In the course of the interrogation, the Housefull 3 actor admitted to having been in a relationship with Chandrashekar for six months however claimed that she didn’t find out about his actions, a police officer mentioned on situation of anonymity.
Investigation had reportedly revealed that Chandrashekar had provided a motorbike to Fernandez’s agent Prashant on his birthday however he declined to take it. Nevertheless, Chandrashekar left the two-wheeler and its keys at Prashant’s place, police had mentioned earlier, including that the car was seized.
On August 17, the ED filed a chargesheet naming Fernandez as an accused in a multi-crore cash laundering case linked to Chandrashekar.
Dancer-actor Nora Fatehi was on September 15 questioned for almost 5 hours by Delhi Police’s Financial Offences Wing for the investigation in reference to an extortion case linked to Sukesh Chandrashekar.
Interrogation has revealed that Fatehi was approached by the conman’s affiliate Pinky Irani on behalf of Chandrashekar in January. Fatehi claimed that she went to attend the occasion in Chennai for a studio inauguration and Chandrashekar’s spouse gifted her an costly bag and a automobile, as a substitute of a price, an officer mentioned.
Nevertheless, Fatehi has by no means met Chandrashekar in individual however they’ve had a restricted dialog over WhatsApp and she or he was not conscious of his unlawful actions, the officer added.
Chandrashekar’s spouse had insisted Fatehi take the automobile as a present as a substitute of charging a price for the Chennai occasion, he mentioned.
After the occasion, Chandrashekar repeatedly tried to contact Fatehi on telephone however she turned suspicious and broke all ties with him, the officer mentioned.
In January this 12 months, Irani had approached Fatehi’s brother-in-law and he acquired the gifted automobile as a substitute of Fatehi resulting from sure authorized constraints, he mentioned, including it’s a part of the investigation. “The automobile acquired as a present was later offered by him,” the officer mentioned.
Mumbai-based Pinky Irani was an in depth aide and buddy of Chandrashekar and launched him to Fernandez, say sources. The Delhi Police has additionally summoned Irani to affix the investigation as she knew each of them.
Irani turned the non-public shopper of Chandrashekar and with the assistance of a video name (from jail), she bought items for Fernandez from Christian Dior, LV, Hermès, and many others. The procuring checklist consists of — baggage, sneakers, watches, equipment, horse harness, saddle, and whip.
As per reviews, Chandrashekar provided Rs 10 crore to Irani for checking out variations between Fernandez as that they had a battle round Valentine’s Day. He additionally gave a Tiffany diamond ring to suggest to Fernandez, which had J&S as its initials.
Irani took many actresses/fashions to Tihar Jail in Delhi to introduce them to Chandrasekhar, whose names are withheld as they’re witnesses. She launched herself to those actresses/fashions as “Angel”.
A BMW automobile took these actresses/fashions to gate no. 3 of Tihar Jail, and additional, an Innova automobile took them contained in the jail to fulfill Chandrashekar. No safety verify was performed and no IDs had been requested by the Tihar Jail safety. An enormous amount of money and items got to those actresses, together with Gucci baggage, Versace watch, LV Baggage, Frank Muller watches, and many others.
These actresses/fashions had been instructed to maintain their head down in order that the CCTV doesn’t document their faces. Apparently, Sanjay Chandra of Unitech and jail employees of Tihar Jail allegedly escorted these actresses to Chandrashekar.
The ED probe additionally revealed that Chandrashekar tried to affect different actresses by way of Irani, together with Bhumi Pednekar, Sara Ali Khan and Jhanvi Kapoor. A few of them acquired the items, whereas others denied. In complete, Chandrashekar had spent Rs 20 crore since 2015 on varied actresses/fashions.
As per the probe, Chandrashekar used to ship an enormous sum of money to Kerala by way of hawala and later funds had been made for luxurious objects by sure people in Kerala.
Leena Maria Paul
Sukesh Chandrashekar’s spouse Leena Maria Paul started her profession with Mohanlal-starrer Crimson Chillies in 2009 and has since then appeared in a number of movies like Madras Café, Husbands in Goa, Cobra and Biriyani.
In response to sources, Leena was probably not solely a beneficiary of the proceeds of her husband’s newest crime wherein he took cash from the spouse of a former promoter of Religare Enterprises, Shivinder Mohan Singh, but in addition is the important thing to finding the cash.
In response to reviews, she had skilled to be a dentist in Bengaluru however later give up to pursue her love for cinema.
Paul was reportedly earlier arrested in 2013, together with Chandrashekar, for allegedly dishonest a Chennai financial institution of Rs 19 crore. Throughout Paul’s arrest, the police had recovered 9 costly automobiles and 81 costly wristwatches.
Chandrasekhar and Paul had been shifted to Mandoli jail in Delhi from Tihar jail final month after instructions from the Supreme Courtroom. Chandrashekar had moved the SC searching for switch from Tihar to every other jail, claiming a risk to his life within the jail.
In response to reviews, actress Nikki (Nikita) Tamboli has instructed investigators that Pinky Irani launched her to Sukesh Chandrashekar, who launched himself as “Shekhar”.
“It was additional revealed that on two events Nikita Tamboli met the accused, Sukesh Chandrashekar, contained in the Tihar Jail, Delhi at his workplace, maintained there. In the course of the first assembly in April 2018, the accused Pinky Irani acquired an quantity to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in money from Sukesh Chandrashekar, out of which she gave Rs 1.5 lakh to Nikita Tamboli. On the second event, after two to a few weeks after her first assembly, she went alone to fulfill Sukesh Chandrashekar the place she was given money to the tune of Rs 2 lakh and one Gucci Bag by the accused Sukesh Chandrashekar,” the ED’s chargesheet reportedly mentioned.
Tamboli has labored in Telugu and Tamil cinema, in addition to Hindi tv. She rose to fame after her look on the truth present Large Boss.
Tv actress Chahatt Khanna, recognized for taking part in ‘Ayesha’ in Bade Achhe Lagte Hain from 2011 to 2015, instructed the ED she too was launched to Sukesh Chandrashekar by Pinky Irani; to her Sukesh Chandrashekar posed as a south Indian film producer.
She too allegedly met Sukesh contained in the Tihar Jail, Delhi at his workplace, maintained there, for which Pinky Irani gave her Rs 2 lakh in money and a blue Versace watch, ED sources mentioned.
Sukesh instructed Chahatt that he has been framed in some election voting rip-off and would come out of jail within the subsequent 4 to 5 days. He additionally claimed to be a relative of late politician J Jayalalithaa, mentioned sources.
Tv actress Sophia Singh was approached by Pinky in reference to work in a movie. She allegedly met the conman twice in Tihar Jail.
Whereas Rs 2 lakh was deposited in her checking account after the primary assembly in Might 2018, she acquired one LV Bag from Sukesh and acquired Rs 1.5 lakh into her checking account when she met him alone after 15 days, investigators say.
Sukesh had allegedly promised to signal her up for a movie.
The actress instructed officers that she by no means met Sukesh and solely spoke to him over WhatsApp for which she acquired Rs 5.20 lakh in December 2020, out of which she had transferred one lakh to Pinky Irani.
“He used to speak over WhatsApp (name, chat, and video name),” the ED chargesheet mentioned.
Timeline of Jacqueline Fernandez’s Alleged Involvement
August 2021: In August final 12 months, the ED summoned Jacqueline Fernandez for the primary time in reference to the multi-crore cash laundering investigation. The actor was examined for 4 hours in New Delhi as a witness within the case and her assertion was recorded below the provisions of the PMLA. This had come after Sukesh was shifted from Rohini Jail to Tihar Jail for allegedly working an extortion racket from behind bars
September 2021: Fernandez was summoned as soon as once more by the ED for recording her assertion in reference to the case. It was then reported that the actor was probably one of many individuals conned by Sukesh Chandrashekar. He allegedly contacted the actor through caller ID spoofing from Tihar jail.
October 2021: In a sensational flip of occasions, the conman’s lawyer claimed that Jacqueline Fernandez was in a relationship with him. “Jacqueline and Sukesh had been relationship, these are my directions… That is straight from the horse’s mouth,” Anant Malik, the lawyer representing Sukesh Chandrashekar, instructed the media.
Nevertheless, Fernandez’s spokesperson categorically denied the allegations. “Jacqueline Fernandez is being referred to as to testify as a witness by the ED. She has duly recorded her statements and in future may also be fully cooperating with the company within the investigations. Jacqueline additionally categorically denies alleged slanderous statements made in regards to the relationship with the concerned couple (Sukesh and his spouse Leena Maria Paul),” the actor’s consultant mentioned in a press release.
November 2021: Jacqueline Fernandez’s non-public photographs with Sukesh Chandrashekar went viral on social media. The photograph confirmed Sukesh kissing the actor on her cheek whereas taking a selfie. The photograph was mentioned to be taken between April and June final 12 months when he was out on interim bail.
December 2021: Jacqueline Fernandez was stopped from flying overseas by ED officers at a non-public airport in Mumbai. Later, in its cost sheet, the ED acknowledged that Fernandez acquired luxurious automobiles and different costly items from the conman. She, nevertheless, instructed the company officers that although Chandrashekar lavished a number of costly items on her, she wasn’t conscious of the conman’s actual id on the time.
Chandrashekar allegedly made a “spoof” name replicating the workplace variety of Union Residence Minister Amit Shah to befriend her and claimed that he hailed from late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s “political household”, the ED mentioned within the chargesheet.
January 2022: One other intimate photograph of the duo went viral on social media. Quickly after, the actor made a request to the media through an Instagram submit to not flow into her non-public photographs. “I’m at present going by way of a tough patch however I’m positive that my pals and followers will see me by way of it. It’s with this belief that I might request my media pals to not flow into photos of a nature that intrude my privateness and private area,” Jacqueline Fernandez wrote on her Instagram web page.
February 2022: Sukesh Chandrashekar got here to Jacqueline Fernandez’s rescue as he expressed displeasure over the non-public photographs being circulated on social media. In a purported letter to the media through his lawyer, Chandrashekar claimed that the circulation of those non-public and private images was a breach of privateness. He emphasised that “the connection was not based mostly on any type of financial advantages like the way in which it’s projected, commented and trolled in a foul gentle”.
April 2022: The ED hooked up belongings price Rs 7.27 crore belonging to Jacqueline Fernandez within the cash laundering case. The hooked up belongings included a set deposit price Rs 7.12 crore below the actor’s title.
Might 2022: Jacqueline Fernandez was allowed by a Delhi courtroom to journey overseas to attend the Worldwide Indian Movie Academy (IIFA) awards. She was earlier barred from leaving India by the ED.
August 2022: Jacqueline Fernandez was named an accused in a supplementary chargesheet filed by the ED in opposition to the conman. Later, a Delhi courtroom summoned her within the case. Extra Classes Decide Praveen Singh took cognizance of the supplementary chargesheet filed by the ED and requested the actress to look earlier than the courtroom on September 26, 2022.
September 2022: Jacqueline has been summoned by the Delhi Police thrice this month. Delhi Police earlier postponed her questioning scheduled on September 12 because the actress cited prior commitments and requested for a date after 15 days. Nevertheless, Delhi Police rejected her request and requested her to affix the investigation on September 14. On September, she was granted interim bail by a Delhi courtroom.