Mumbai: The CBI today told a special court here today that Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case, and her husband former media baron Peter Mukerjea were unhappy with the relationship between her daughter Sheena and Peter's son Rahul.
"Both, Peter and Indrani were unhappy with the relationship between Rahul and Sheena," Additional Solicitor General of India Anil Singh told the special CBI judge H S Mahajan, while opposing Peter's bail application.
Sheena, Indrani's daughter from an earlier relationship, and Rahul, Peter's son from his earlier marriage, were in a relationship and at one point in time, they used to stay together in a rented flat in Mumbai.
Indrani had introduced Sheena in Mumbai's social circles as her younger sister. Sheena (24) was allegedly murdered by Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and ex-driver Shyamvar Rai, on April 24, 2012. She was allegedly strangled in a car and her body burnt and dumped in a forest in Raigad, about 84 kms from Mumbai.
"Before April 23, 2012, both Indrani and Peter were in England. When Indrani came to India on April 23, she had immediately messaged Peter. Even after reaching the spot in Raigad district, where Sheena's body was burnt and disposed of, she had called Peter," Singh said.
He also said that even after taking Sheena's body to Raigad, Indrani had a long conversation with Peter. "Around 2.30 am on the intervening night of April 24 and 25 (2012), Peter and Indrani spoke for around 15-20
minutes," Singh said.
On April 26, Peter came back to India and he, along with Indrani, went to Goa on April 28, he said, adding that an attempt was made by both of them to access the e-mail account of Sheena. Singh also said that after Sheena's disappearance Peter's servant told him that Rahul had come home enquiring about her. Peter told him, "Don't worry, Indrani has separated Sheena from Rahul."
When Rahul spoke to Peter about Sheena, he was told that she was in the US and was doing fine, Singh said. "Sheena was a family member and Peter was in touch with Rahul and Sheena, but when she went missing, Peter did not make any efforts to trace her," Singh argued.
Singh also said that they had approached the then Additional Commissioner of Crime Deven Bharti regarding Sheena's missing mobile, but later told the officer it has been traced. "It was only after Indrani's driver Shyam Rai was arrested, the case came to light, but from the day when Sheena went missing in April 2012 till the time of Rai's arrest, despite requests made by Rahul, Peter did not make any attempt to find out Sheena," Additional Solicitor General Singh said.
Singh said despite attempts, both of them were not successful in separating Rahul and Sheena. "Peter is part of the conspiracy and was aware about everything," Singh said, adding if he is let out on bail, he might tamper with the evidence and influence the witnesses.
The ASG said the charges against Peter was serious. "Entire planning had been done and strategy worked out and it was done in such a way that for three years, nothing came out," Singh said. We have material in the form of call records, e-mails, confessions, statements of witnesses to suggest complicity of Peter and the CBI will file the chargesheet against him and come before the court with evidence, Singh told the court.
Peter's lawyers Amit Desai and Kushal Mor told the court that the CBI was only able to infer that Peter had knowledge and he did not inform the police and misled his son. "CBI is only saying that Peter had knowledge of the crime post April 24," Desai said. He also said there was not even a prima facie case against Peter, adding that the CBI doesn't have any material that transcends from knowledge, intention to agreement.
"Peter was not against the relationship between them," he said. "There is nothing about Peter that shows that he has role in planning, what the CBI is trying to show is that phone call between Peter and Indrani took place in relation to the murder," Desai argued and added that CBI does not have any transcript.
Desai also argued that knowledge is not sufficient to make a prima-facie case. "The case is that of knowledge and not of conspiracy, hence you cannot hold (Peter)," Desai contended. He told the court that Indrani informed Peter that Sheena was fine, which he considered as "truth".
Desai said even Vidhie, Indrani's daughter with Khanna, had warned Sheena that mother (Indrani) would do bad to her and not Peter. "Indrani misled Peter and the only statement that Peter gave to police and media is that he trusted his wife," Desai said.
In his bail application, Peter has said that CBI found no evidence to justify his arrest and even subjected him to psycho-analysis and polygraph tests. CBI has claimed that the motive had to do with financial transactions. Peter (59), was arrested on November 19 for his alleged role in the murder. He has been kept at the high-security Arthur Road Jail here, where Sanjeev Khanna and Shyamvar Rai are also lodged.