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Court Allows Jacqueline Fernandez To Travel Abroad Without Prior Permission

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New Delhi: A Delhi court has granted actor Jacqueline Fernandez to travel abroad without prior permission of the court. She is accused in a Rs 200 crore money laundering case, in which Sukesh Chandrasekhar is also an accused.

Delhi’s Patiala House Court modified the bail condition imposed in November 2022 that required her to take prior permission to travel abroad.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Shailender Malik allowed the application seeking modification of the bail condition of taking prior permission to travel abroad after considering facts and circumstances.

The court said that it is a matter of record that in the present case, the accused/applicant has earlier taken prior permission for travelling abroad, on five occasions.

It was also not disputed by the ED that the accused has never misused the liberty of bail and never violated any condition of the bail order.

“In the present case, I find considering the fact that the accused being an actor in the Indian film industry has to travel abroad frequently and in certain situations, in order to grab professional opportunities, she requires to leave the country with short notice,” ASJ Malik said in the order passed on August 10, 2022.

The court further said, “In such a situation condition of taking prior permission before leaving the country, becomes cumbersome and may be a reason for losing livelihood.”

An application was moved on behalf of Jacqueline Fernandez seeking modification regarding conditions of bail to the accused/applicant of November 15, 2022.

The court allowed the application and said that the accused/applicant would require to intimate to the court atleast three days before leaving the country instead of taking prior permission before leaving the country.

Needless to mention that such intimation to Court would simultaneously be an intimation to ED as well, so that ED may verify the details of travelling abroad and duration, as per details to be furnished in the form of an affidavit, the court added.

The court also said that the accused/applicant in her application intimation of travel abroad would give details of country/duration, other details like a place where she would be staying, contact number etc.

So that if the presence of the accused/applicant would be required in India, the accused/applicant can be contacted and can be called upon if required.

The court further directed that the accused/applicant upon moving of application giving intimation for travelling abroad passport of the accused would be released immediately subject to depositing of FDR in the sum of Rs 50 lakhs and she would deposit the passport again in the court and after coming back from abroad, FDR would be released.

It was submitted by advocate Prashant Patil that the accused/applicant being an actor of international acclaim, frequently engaged in film shooting, appearance at events, participation in various award functions etc. being indispensable to her professional occupations and livelihood.

Advocate Patil also stated that in certain situations, it becomes time-consuming for the accused/applicant to take court approval for going abroad, which is mandatory under the terms of bail.

Due to that reason accused/applicant has faced certain situations wherein organizers/producers and other film industry professionals, on account of the time-consuming process of seeking court approval for leaving India, opted to engage other individuals resultantly potential financial loss and reputational implications to the accused/applicant, the counsel argued.

In order to strike a delicate balance of rights/apprehension of investigating agency and for the appearance of the accused/applicant during the course of trial as well as her fundamental rights, the present application has been moved, he added.

He prayed that the order dated November 15, 2022 whereby the accused/applicant granted bail with the condition that the “accused would not leave the country without prior permission of the court” may be modified with any other just conditions and directions may be given for releasing her passport.

It was stated by ED that there is no “flight risk” regarding the accused/applicant as her entire career and professional life involves India.

Her source of income has been generated in India and she has been paying income tax in India since 2009 and has many professional commitments lined up in India in years to come. Moreover, the accused/applicant has deep roots in the country.

It was also stated by the agency that since the accused/applicant is in certai nsituations require participation in film shooting, events, ceremony events and other professional commitments with very short notice.

It is in order to ensure that the accused/applicant in her career may not be deprived of such professional commitment, therefore, moving the present application.

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