The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Maharashtra government on a bail plea filed by former media executive Indrani Mukerjea in the Sheena Bora murder case, reported PTI.
Mukerjea is currently in jail and facing trial for Bora, her daughter’s murder.
Bora had allegedly been strangled by Mukerjea in a car on April 24, 2012. Her body was then burnt and dumped in a forest in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. Mukerjea was arrested after the case came to light in 2015.
Mukerjea has been denied bail on multiple occasions by a special CBI court, which is conducting the trial in the case.
At Friday’s hearing, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Mukerjea, told a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and PS Narasimha that her client has been in jail for the last six and a half years, reported Live Law. He said that given the state of the case proceedings, the trial would not end in the next 10 years.
To this, the bench asked about the number of witnesses in the case.
“185 yet to be examined”, said Rohatgi, adding that none of the witnesses have been examined in the last one and a half years.
The advocate also submitted that the trial court has not had a presiding officer since June. He also pointed out that Indrani Mukerjea’s husband, Peter Mukerjea, who is also an accused person in the case, has been granted bail.
“This lady is not well,” Rohtagi told the court. “She is suffering from cerebral ischemia.”
Cerebral ischemia is a medical condition that occurs due to lack of blood supply to the brain to meet the metabolic needs of the body.
Mukerjea’s first bail plea, filed on medical grounds was rejected by the special CBI court in 2016. Her second plea was dismissed in September 2017 when the special court observing that Mukerjea would be safer inside the prison.
The special court again rejected her bail plea in November 2018. The court had then said that the accused person could tamper with evidence and witnesses. Her fourth bail plea was dismissed in August 2020 on the grounds that she could influence witnesses.
Sheena Bora murder
Investigators alleged that Peter Mukerjea, Indrani’s Mukerjea’s former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyamvar Rai were accomplices in the crime. All three of them had been arrested.
Peter Mukerjea was released on bail in March 2020.
In 2016, Indrani Mukerjea’s driver Shyamvar Rai turned an approver. Rai said Mukerjea had planned Bora’s murder with Khanna and executed it. He claimed Mukerjea had contacted him through her assistant and spoken to him about her murder plans on Skype.
She had also promised Rai to take care of his family’s medical and education needs if he helped in committing the crime. On the day of the crime, Rai said he and Mukerjea picked up Bora in Mukerjea’s car, then he gagged Bora while Khanna held her hands and Mukerjea strangled her.
In August last year, the CBI had told a special court in Mumbai that it has closed investigation in the case.