Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez "cooked up a false story" to wriggle out of the ongoing money laundering probe against alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar and she "knowingly" involved herself to enjoy the proceeds of crime generated through criminal acts, the Enforcement Directorate has alleged in its latest charge sheet.
Additional sessions judge Praveen Singh on Wedneday took cognizance of the second supplementary charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate in the Rs 200 crore money laundering case, and asked Fernandez to appear before the court on September 26.
The charge sheet also claimed Fernandez consciously chose to overlook Chandrashekhar's criminal past and continued to indulge in financial transactions with him and both were working in collusion.
The 37-year-old actor, who was summoned by the ED several times in connection with its probe, has been named as an accused for the first time in the supplementary charge sheet. The ED's earlier charge sheet and a supplementary charge sheet did not mention the Sri Lankan actor as an accused.
The documents have also mentioned the details of the statements recorded by actor Nora Fatehi and a few female models.
The ED claimed its probe has found that Fernandez was "enjoying valuables, jewellery and costly gifts provided by Chandrashekhar despite knowing about his criminal antecedents." Chandrashekhar is currently lodged in a Delhi jail.
"From the statements recorded, it is evident that she (Fernandez) consciously chose to overlook his (Chandrashekhar) criminal past and continued to indulge in financial transactions with him."
"Not only she but her family members and friends have benefited out of the relationship financially," the charge sheet alleged.
Thus, the ED said, it can be "safely concluded that the lure of money ensured that the criminal history of the person she was engaging with, did not matter."
It alleged that Fernandez "conveniently overlooked or preferred to sideline the fact that accused Sukesh has strong criminal antecedents and could have been aware of the fact that he was in jail."
The ED said that through her statement recorded in May 2022, she tried to come out clean professing innocence on the issue of her relationship with him but the facts and evidences were contrary to her explanation.
Fernandez has "consistently shifted her stance with regard to the gifts being received by her and her relatives (from Chandrashekhar)", the ED said.
The ED claimed the actor divulged the details "only" after she was confronted with evidences and statements (of other accused/people involved in the case).
"The investigation has disclosed that the Fernandez has cooked up a false story to wriggle out of the ongoing investigation."
The agency alleged the actor and her family received "proceeds of crime" worth more than Rs 7.12 crore between February-August, 2021 and these, apart from another Rs 15 lakh cash given to a writer by Chandrashekhar on behalf of Fernandez, were attached by the ED few months back.
The actor made her debut in the Hindi film industry in 2009 and her statement has been recorded five times by the ED over the last one year. She is stated to have got in touch with Chandrashekhar in 2021 through her makeup artist.
The ED has alleged that Chandrashekhar, 32, used illegal money to purchase gifts for Fernandez and claimed he had extorted the money by cheating high-profile people including former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh's wife Aditi Singh.
The agency had filed its second supplementary charge sheet in the money laundering case on August 17 before a local court here in which it detailed her role along with the 'conman' who is alleged to have duped and extorted crores of rupees from various people by spoofing voice calls and impersonating as a senior officer calling from the office of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and as Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla.
Fernandez, in her recent response filed before the Appellate authority of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, had said that a fixed deposit attached by the ED was created through the income generated by her "blood and sweat and working in the industry (Bollywood) for so long" and hence this was not illegal. She has also opposed some other attachment of assets.
The agency in its charge sheet claimed that Chandrashekhar "arranged" funds to the tune of USD 1,72,913 in the bank account of the sister of Fernandez based in the US at the request of the actor.
Fernandez has been accused of "tampering" with the evidence as the ED alleged in the charge sheet that she "wiped her phone clean" after she learnt the 'conman' was arrested.
The actor, it said, "knowingly and deliberately deleted all the data in respect of conversation made by her with accused Sukesh from her mobile phones with the aim of hampering investigation to save herself and her family members from the clutches of law."
The ED claimed Fernandez had first denied that Chandrashekhar purchased cars for her parents living in Bahrain but when she was confronted with evidences she "admitted" the same and this "shows her connivance with accused Sukesh (Chandrashekhar) to conceal the use of the proceeds of crime."
It further said Fernandez, during her questioning, tried to "cover up" her conduct by constantly stating that she has been a victim in the case. However, she "failed to provide any substantial material to establish the victimisation by Sukesh."
The ED said its probe found that since Fernandez came in touch with Chandrashekhar through her aides she has been "searching about Sukesh on Google" but she seems to have "conveniently overlooked or preferred to sideline the fact that he has strong criminal antecedents."
Fernandez told the ED during recording of her statements that Chandrashekhar purchased a horse named 'Espuela' which she was "free to use" apart from four cats.
The agency was told by Fernandez that she got from the accused 5 watches, 20 pieces of jewellery, 65 pairs of shoes, 47 cloth items, 32 bags including 3 of luxury brands like Gucci and Chanel, 4 'Hermes' bags and 2 bracelets, 9 paintings and a Versace crockery set, flowers, chocolates, limited edition perfume.