Jacqueline Fernandez's lawyer Prashant Patil on Thursday reacted to the actress being named as accused by the Enforcement Directorate in Rs 215 crore extortion case linked to alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar. He said they are still waiting for the matter to be heard and claimed that the actor is innocent. He also said that such allegations are only to tarnish her image unnecessarily.
During the interaction with ETimes, he 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."
He further added, "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."
He cited situations when Jacqueline cooperated with the investigation and shared that she was actually conned into the matter. "The agencies have failed to appreciate that she was cheated and conned into this matter. She is a victim of a larger criminal conspiracy. Taking the entire prosecution case to be true for the sake of arguments, even then, no case is made out against Jacqueline under the scheme of Prevention of Money Laundering Act or any other Law in force," Prashant said.
"This is a case of mala fide prosecution and my client shall take steps as required under law to protect her dignity and liberty," he concluded.
The 36-year-old actor, known for films such as "Kick", "Bhoot Police'' and most recently "Vikrant Rona", is the only accused named in the latest charge sheet.
Vikrant Rona Box Office Collection Day 2: Kichcha Sudeep's film enjoys remarkable business worldwide
For the unversed, she has been questioned multiple times by the ED in this case, the last being in June. Fernandez, a Sri Lanka national, debuted in the Hindi film industry in 2009. The agency in April provisionally attached Rs 7.27 crore funds of the actor under the PMLA apart from Rs 15 lakh cash as the agency called these funds as "proceeds of crime".