NEW DELHI: A Delhi Court has sought a response from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on an application moved by Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez seeking permission to release her passport for urgent travel to Abu Dhabi, UAE, Nepal, and France for 15 days.
Fernandez is being investigated by the ED in Rs 200 crore extortion case involving alleged conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar. She had earlier appeared before the probe agency for questioning in a money-laundering investigation against Sukesh Chandrashekhar and others.
The Additional Sessions Judge Praveen Singh on Wednesday sought a response from the probe agency and listed the matter for May 18, 2022, for hearing. The plea submitted that Fernandez is a Sri Lankan national living in India since 2009 and belongs to a Bollywood fraternity and holds a good name in the Bollywood industry.
Advocate Ajit Singh, representing the actor submitted that the ED has filed the chargesheet and has not named the applicant as an accused in the present matter. However, without citing any reason to the applicant, the ED has seized the passport of the applicant.
The plea states that being a renowned film actor the applicant is invited to events, press conferences, rehearsals and participation in events. The applicant prays for the release of her passport and seeks permission from this Hon'ble Court to travel to Abu Dhabi, UAE, tentatively from May 17, 2022, to May 22, 2022, as International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards is organizing the 2022 IFA weekend and awards in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
It further states that the applicant actor represents the Hindi film industry at the Cannes Film Festival and has been invited to attend and participate in the same from May 17, 2022, to May 28, 2022, in France.
The applicant is also associated with the Dabang show since 2017 and has been further invited to attend the same in Nepal from May 27, 2022, to May 28, 2022. "Only after the release of her passport and permission from this Court, the applicant will book tickets and will accordingly submit the detailed itinerary before this Court thereafter," the plea stated.
"The applicant has always joined the investigation before the Enforcement Directorate and remains ready and willing to abide by any such conditions that this Court may deem fit to impose if the prayer sought for is granted, in accordance with the law. Grave prejudice will be caused to the Applicant if her permission to travel abroad is denied, while no useful purpose will be served to the prosecuting agency if the Application is allowed," the plea further said.
There is an active Look Out Circular against her which had led to her brief detention at Mumbai International Airport last year.