Actors Nora Fatehi and Jacqueline Fernandez have both been questioned in a money laundering case filed against alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar. However, in a new turn of events, Fatehi, on Monday, filed a defamation case against Fernandez in a Delhi court, claiming she made statements “to destroy her career”.
Fatehi’s plea alleged that Fernandez “made defamatory imputations” due to “malicious reasons” with an intent to “destroy her career to further her own interests”.
Fatehi’s plea stated that Fernandez had made a written statement to the appellate tribunal, PMLA that she was “falsely implicated by the ED while celebs such as Nora Fatehi who had received gifts from Conman Sukesh Chandrashekar had been made witnesses”.
This, Fatehi claimed, was an attempt to defame her and destroy her career.
“Jacqueline Fernandes sought to criminally defame the complainant in order to destroy her career to further her own interests, since they are both working in the same industry and have similar backgrounds, amongst other reasons,” her counsel made public.
The plea stated that Fernandez’s statements were made to malign her image when Fatehi has “nothing to do with the matter.”
“It is pertinent to mention herein that both the complainant (Nora Fatehi) and the accused (Jacqueline Fernandez) are actresses of foreign origin and both have had their share of struggles in rising to fame in the Indian film industry. Hence, it is evident that the act of the accused in dragging the name of the complainant wherein she has no business mentioning the complainant is mala fide in nature,” the plea stated.
While Fatehi is of Canadian Moroccan origin, Fernandez is from Sri Lanka. Fatehi’s plea has also sought to make several media houses respondents in this case, claiming they criminally sought to reproduce the defamatory statements made by Fernandez.
Sukesh has been accused of allegedly extorting Rs 200 crore from the wife of former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Singh. In its supplementary chargesheet filed in the case on August 17, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed that Fernandez had received gifts worth Rs 5.71 crore from Chandrashekhar, which were from the proceeds of crime, but is “trying to justify herself that she was in fact the victim of manipulative actions by Sukesh against her”.
In October this year, the ED opposed Fernandez’s bail plea, claiming she made an abortive bid to flee the country. It also alleged that Fernandez never cooperated with investigations and made disclosures only when confronted with evidence. In addition, the agency said Fernandez had deleted evidence and also asked the others involved in the case to do so.
However, in November, a Delhi court granted bail to Fernandez. The court said while she was accused of receiving gifts from Sukesh out of the proceeds of crime, it would be decided during the trial “whether there was any knowledge, intention, or connection of accused in taking those gifts and of proceeds of crime in this case”.