Sheena Bora murder case: Secret witness is Peter Mukerjea's ex-colleague
Ravina Raj Kohli, identified as Peter Mukerjea's former colleague has claimed that Indrani Mukerjea was a "schemer" and that the Mukerjea couple had created an overseas account for Sheena Bora
The court extended Peter and Indrani Mukerjea’s custody till Dec 9
The identity of secret witness number 11 in the Sheena Bora murder case has been subject to much speculation. And on Tuesday, it was finally revealed to be Ravina Raj Kohli, a former colleague of Peter Mukerjea during his tenure as the CEO of Star TV India Network, when following the Bombay high court directive, the CBI special court handed over her statement to all the alleged accused in the case. Special CBI judge HS Mahajan called in prime accused Indrani Mukerjea, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna, and her present husband Peter Mukerjea to give them the statements.
What does it say?
In her statement given to the CBI on October 10, 2016, Kohli — the Chief Operating Officer of Star Entertainment at the time — claimed that Indrani was a “schemer, manipulator and a dominant person”.
In her four-page statement, she has also said that within media circles, Peter and Indrani were nicknamed “Bunty and Babli” and that Peter used to tell people that Indrani was his retirement plan.
Kohli also claims that “Indrani used to take benefit of Peter’s powerful position and his closeness with owners of media organisations to bag HR services contracts,” adding that “Peter’s 9X Media venture closed not only because of funding problems, but because of CEO Indrani’s inexperience, who was appointed since his British citizenship prevented him from holding the top job himself.”
Siphoned money to HK
Kohli also claims she had learnt through sources that Indrani and Peter, after selling off 9X Media, had siphoned off the money through kickbacks and parked the amount in some unknown bank accounts abroad in HSBC Singapore or Hong Kong — one of which was in 2012 and in the name of the deceased Bora.
However, Peter’s lawyer, Mihir Gheewala, rubbished the statement and said, “The statement of the secret witness which was revealed today (Tuesday) is a joke. How can a respected agency like CBI depend on a hearsay statement? There is nothing concrete in it and it is defaming my client without any evidence.”
Even Shreyansh Mithare, counsel for Sanjeev Khanna, claimed that the statement — recorded under Section 161 of the CrPc — talks about Peter and Indrani’s role, but does not have any mention of Khanna’s role in it. “We were thinking that the statement would have some great facts, that would make the case strong for CBI. But, it’s just a hearsay statement,” said Mithare.
He added that even in the case of Peter and Indrani, there is no direct evidence that the statement points to. “She doesn’t have any direct information, but she (Kohli) claims she had heard that they had opened a bank account in Sheena’s name. This won’t help the CBI much,” said Mithare.
Meanwhile, sources in the CBI claimed that the statement had a lot of details about financial transactions, but since the financial aspect of the murder is still being investigated, those parts were truncated from the statement.
Framing of charges
Additionally, the three accused — Indrani, Khanna and Peter — moved court to get the original recorded statements of Peter’s son Rahul by the Khar police, who first investigated the case, along with demanding a verification of all the voice recordings the CBI was going to use while framing the charges.
Judge Mahajan has now posted the matter for December 5, where he will decide on the applications along with opening the arguments in the case. He also sent Indrani, Peter and Khanna to judicial custody till December 9.