CBI has no evidence against Peter Mukerjea in Sheena Bora murder case

VidyaJul 02, 2016 | 18:39

CBI has no evidence against Peter Mukerjea in Sheena Bora murder case

Former media head honcho Peter Mukerjea has been lodged at the infamous Arthur Road jail for the last seven months for his alleged involvement in the Sheena Bora murder case.

Even as he goes through his daily routine of waking up in the early hours and, like other accused in different under trial cases, he looks forward to the visits to court while in remand as that is the only time he gets to leave the jail.


Almost every time he is at the court, he smiles and jokes about his weight loss, saying, "This is what happens when you live in a spa". But along with his family and lawyers, the former media mogul has been hoping that there will be some sort of evidence that the CBI - which is investigating the case - will come out with which they can counter in the court of law.

It was on November 19 last year that Peter was arrested. That very day a chargesheet had been filed by the CBI against the other accused in the case - Peter's wife of 12 years Indrani, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and their driver Shyamvar Rai.

The CBI kept saying that there was ample evidence against Peter as well - related to the very motive of the murder.

They claimed during the remand stage that it was Peter who had opened benami accounts in Singapore in Sheena's name, citing it as one of the reasons for her death.

To convince the court, the CBI brought in additional solicitor general Anil Singh, who told the hearing that during the time Sheena was being murdered by her mother, many calls were exchanged between Peter and Indrani. Singh told the court that some of them went on for longer durations and that this exchange never happened between the couple on other days.


With this, the CBI promised to bring about a chargesheet detailing the conspiracy and Peter's involvement in the case.

Before the first chargesheet, statements of at least half a dozen people were recorded before the magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC.

In the meantime, Rai had also written a letter to the magistrate saying that he wanted to reveal much in the case. So his statement was also recorded as the agency refused to entertain him.

These statements have a bearing on the case and are an important piece of evidence. All the statements recorded by the magistrate were handed over to the court, but on the agency's insistence, the special CBI court had refused to hand over Rai's statement.

The defence lawyers had to then file an appeal at the Bombay High Court following which the CBI court finally handed over Rai's statement to the defence.

When this statement came up in court today, everyone frantically looked for a mention of Peter somewhere, at least in the paras about his Skype chats with Indrani to which no one was privy or between the conversations of Rai, Indrani and Khanna in the car during the time they killed Sheena and disposed of her body, around 12 hours later.


The entire chat had no reference that could name him as an accused who conspired with Indrani, or played a part in the execution of the murder.

Meanwhile, Peter applied for bail in the special CBI court, which was rejected on the ground that the chargesheet was not filed against him. Later in February, a chargesheet followed, but the CBI only maintained its earlier stand that Peter had been misleading his son Rahul.

There was no evidence to point to the financial angle the agency had been harping on for so long.

Peter was arrested because he, at one point, had echoed what Indrani had told him about Sheena being alive and said that he had spoken to her. Rahul had been frantically looking for Sheena since the night she had vanished. Indrani had cooked up the story that Sheena was unhappy with Rahul and had left him for a better life abroad.

An audio recording done by Rahul himself was the basis of this arrest. But there was nothing on paper to prove the story put forth by the CBI about the financial angle connecting Peter to the murder motive.

Peter's lawyers meanwhile filed for bail again but this time the special court rejected it saying there was something in the case papers of the CBI which could not be shared with the defence at the stage.

So Peter's lawyers then approached the Bombay High Court saying that the bail had been wrongly rejected by the lower court as it was done grounds the defence had no knowledge about.

The agency, on its part, has promised a third chargesheet on the issue. It will be worth waiting to see who comes out first - evidence against Peter or the accused himself, out of the prison.

Last updated: July 02, 2016 | 19:25
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