After Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez moved a Delhi court seeking immediate direction to restrain alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar from issuing any letters related to her to the media, the latter has filed an application saying that he is entitled to write letters to friends, family, relations and legal advisors.
“I am also covered by Right to Express and Freedom of Speech, even though I am incarcerated as per the law and the Constitution,” read Chandrashekhar’s application, confirmed by his counsel advocate Anant Malik.
Jacqueline's application, which is listed for hearing on January 17, seeks orders preventing the dissemination of letters, statements, or messages about the actor by Chandrashekhar.
Chandrashekhar, the prime accused in a Rs 200 crore extortion case who is currently lodged in Mandoli Jail, has been writing letters to the media, on which Jacqueline has said that certain unwarranted statements outraging her modesty have been made by him.
Chandrshekhar’s application says he has written multiple letters to Jacqueline from 2022 till date, but she did not raise any such complaint in the whole of 2022, and the half of 2023, as they were serving her purpose.
Chandrashekhar has alleged that now the reason to sensationalise this issue by using the court as a platform by her is because she has moved an application before the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of the ECIR, and wants to establish a fact of having nothing to do with him (Chandrashekhar), in the pendency of her application in the HC.
The ECIR Chandrashekhar is referring to is Jacqueline seeking to quash a money laundering case registered against her by the Enforcement DIrectorate.
She has challenged the ED's complaint and the second supplementary charge sheet dated August 17, 2022 under Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
Notably, the Economics Offences Wing (EOW) in its reply to Jacqueline's application on his letters has said that it was a matter of grave concern that an important ‘witness’ in the case was harassed and threatened by the accused, and that it could affect the trial.
On this, Chandrashekhar’s counsel had earlier said: “It is rather surprising that she has been treated as a ‘witness’ in the state matter as individuals with a much less role than her in the entire controversy are languishing in judicial custody for the past 28 months, while she has been let off scot-free by the EOW despite the3 ED bringing on record solid evidence against her and her involvement with Sukesh Chandrashekhar.
"It is the ED's case that she had absolute knowledge about the antecedents of Sukesh Chandrashekhar and still was involved with him."
Chandrashekhar had called the EOW’s investigation biased.
Malik had said: “Thus the important question to be adjudicated is why the EOW has not made Jacqueline an accused in the case when there existed cogent evidence in the ED charge sheet against her and her role being much more than the other co accused in the case."
In his freshly filed application, Chandrashekhar contends about Jacqueline mentioning herself as a prime prosecution ‘witness’ in the EOW case, and has said that it is important to note that she is an ‘accused’ in the related PMLA case.
“The applicant was first made an accused by the ED and thereafter the EOW surprisingly and selectively makes her a witness in their case, whereas other co-accused who are on a similar footing have been made accused,” Chandrshekhar said.
He alleged that during police custody, Fernandez had on multiple occasions requested him to give statements to protect her interest, and respect in the society.
“On the relationship front, it's an admitted fact from the applicant’s (Jacqueline) side, and also in her statements before the ED and EOW, which are on record," the application read.
On Jacqueline being the witness or an accused, Chandrashekhar says, "Her role as a witness in the EOW case is very limited and it's not the fact that the case in 208/21 EOW stands only due to the testimony of Jacqueline, for which I am desperate to establish contact with her to withhold any truth in the criminal trial as alleged by her in the present application."
Chandrashekhar further claims that Jacqueline herself was constantly seeking favours from him directly as well as through their common friends, with regard to the ED case in which she is an accused.
“The applicant is equally liable to be arrayed as on accused in the EOW case also, as her statement mentioning she was conned, targeted, cheated, and was not aware of my alleged antecedents is completely wrong.
"As per proven record and the charge sheet of ED, there is evidence to show that in February 2021, her associate Shaan sent her media links related to my ongoing case and prison term,” the application read.
“Irrespective of all the said facts, she decided to continue her relationship with me till the day of my arrest in the present case, and even visited me multiple times when I was released on interim custody bail. All these facts are part of the judicial record,” it added.
Reiterating his point from earlier press statements issued, Chandrashehar says that EOW mysteriously does a bias probe and makes her a witness in the case.
“If the applicant was truthful about having mental intimidation because of the letters, she should have approached the Hon’ble Court in 2022 itself when multiple letters were sent by me to her, giving her moral support in my best capacity emotionally, not selectively raising issues just because some application is filed by the applicant in the ED case,” he says.
He also prays for the court to hear him before passing any orders on Jacqueline's application.
(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)