Often requesting A4 sheets to make notes from the CBI chargesheet in her cell, prime accused in the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, Indrani Mukerjea is back to being her confident self
From her cell in Byculla Jail, Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in her daughter Sheena Bora’s murder, seeks A4 size white papers every now and then. It’s here, sources say, that she writes notes relating to the 1000-plus page chargesheet filed by the CBI in the sensational murder case.
File photo of Indrani Mukerjea en route to the Mumbai Magistrate Court on November 20 in the Sheena Bora murder case
These are jottings that Mukerjea hopes will help her frame some “solid arguments” in her defence when the trial starts. She is in touch with her lawyers on an almost daily basis, briefing them on the case, and passing on information in a bid to salvage her lost pride.
When she was brought here, Mukerjea, say observers, appeared crestfallen, preferring to remain silent for most of the time. Used to a life of luxury, she was waking up at 5 am for a shower, followed by the mandatory attendance at religious discourses. She had reportedly collapsed during a few sessions.
Post her return from the government-run JJ Hospital in early October where she was admitted after being found unconscious in jail, authorities even organised counselling sessions.
“But she has regained her composure, and enough ground (read confidence),” claim sources. Her confidence is evident from the way she addresses policemen inside, mostly on first name basis. “She appears to be in total control of herself, and she has even convinced many in nearby cells that she is innocent, and framed by others involved in the murder,” the source said.
“She is reading the chargesheet every day, going over its contents repeatedly, even asking lawyers if the CBI would file another supplementary chargesheet after questioning and arresting her husband, Peter.”
It’s learnt that Indrani has approached the court, along with former husband and co-accused Sanjeev Khanna, for copies of witness statements recorded and her driver Shyamvar Rai’s statement.
The CBI has made it clear that the probe is not over. It has already sought a Mumbai court’s permission to question Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyamvar Rai. This is likely to be a month-long process because CBI special prosecutor Kavita Patil had said the agency would need at least three weeks, may be more, to interrogate the accused in jail.
Indrani has been told by her lawyers that the questioning would mainly revolve around the cyber forensic team's report that claims Rai, Khanna and she used Skype to remain in touch and allegedly discuss ways to murder Bora.
The agency, Indrani has been told, will also grill her about statements made by her present husband, Peter, during a narco test in Delhi. During the test, Peter repeatedly told the physician conducting the test that he did not trust Indrani and that she was difficult to handle.
The CBI has further indicated to the Mumbai court that it will soon involve the Enforcement Directorate to expand the ambit of the probe of the Mukerjeas’ financial transactions overseas. Hence, there are ample chances that the probe will continue and more people questioned, including Indrani's son, Mikhail, and some IPS officers.
The CBI is armed with a statement made by Abhijit Sen, a Kolkata businessman, who claimed to be close to Indrani. In the statement, Sen has mentioned that Peter had called two top cops who were —during their stay in Kolkata — grown close to Indrani. There are chances that the two IPS officers could be called to verify what Sen said in his statement.
Indrani, expectedly, wants to know if all of this will be part of the supplementary chargesheet, which would contain information her husband shared with the investigating agency.