Shyam Rai, the driver who allegedly helped Indrani Mukerjea murder her daughter Sheena Bora, has now asked for a pardon in exchange for turning approver against the other accused.

The Chevrolet Optra car in which Sheena Bora was allegedly murdered by Indrani Mukerjea and Sanjeev Khanna. Shyam claimed he was driving
The Chevrolet Optra car in which Sheena Bora was allegedly murdered by Indrani Mukerjea and Sanjeev Khanna. Shyam claimed he was driving

“Aabhi kyun aap batana chahate ho?” asked Special CBI Judge HS Mahajan.
“Paschatap ho raha hai,” said Shyam, who was shaking as he spoke.
“Ghabrate kyun ho?” said Judge Mahajan.
“Nahi sir ghabra nahi raha hu,” said Shyam.
“Kya aap pe koi pressure hai?” questioned the judge.
“Nahi, sir,” said Shyam.
“Kya pata hai tumhe?” asked the judge.
“Mein waha tha — Sheena ko gala daba ke maara gaya. Mujhe sab pata hai aur mein batana chahta hu,” said the driver.

A file pic of Indrani Mukerjea’s driver Shyam Rai being produced in court. He was the first of the accused to be nabbed by the police
A file pic of Indrani Mukerjea’s driver Shyam Rai being produced in court. He was the first of the accused to be nabbed by the police

History
Sheena went missing on April 24, 2012, and was murdered that night, allegedly by prime accused Indrani, who enlisted the help of her former driver Shyam and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna. The 24-year-old was picked up near National College in Bandra and was strangled to death in a Chevrolet Optra car that Shyam was driving. Her body was then dumped in Pen. Three years later, last August, Shyam was nabbed by the police and soon ratted out Indrani as well.

After his arrest, Shyam had also written to the judge in October 2015, saying that he wanted to tell the truth. This time, the accused wrote to the judge from his jail cell in Thane and sent it to through the jailor.

The court has given the Central bureau of Investigation (CBI) team until May 17 to respond to Shyam’s offer. The judicial custody of all four accused (also including Indrani’s husband Peter Mukerjea) has been extended till then. If the CBI were to accept Shyam’s plea, a pardon could be offered to him in exchange for his statement, under Sections 306, 307 and 164 of the CrPC.

This will add strength to the case, which has met with several roadblocks because the murder is over three years old. CBI public prosecutor Kavita Patil told the court that she would like to discuss the matter with CBI officials before replying.