Sheena Bora murder: Trial begins, then adjourned for 2 weeks

Trial in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case began today only to be adjourned for two weeks when defence lawyers objected to a legal point while a Mumbai police official was deposing as the first witness in a CBI court in Mumbai.

Sub-inspector Ganesh Dalvi had arrested the former driver of Indrani Mukerjea. However, an objection by defence lawyers on a legal point led to adjournment of the trial for two weeks. Arrest of Shyam Rai, prime accused Indrani's former driver, by Dalvi had blown the lid off the murder.

Dalvi told the court that he detained Rai as he was seen moving around in a suspicious manner, and arrested him after finding that Rai was carrying a pistol. "During the interrogation Rai said he wanted to tell us something, so I brought two 'panch' (independent) witnesses,"

Dalvi said, deposing before judge H S Mahajan. However, at this point Shrikant Shivde, lawyer of co- accused Peter Mukerjea, former media baron and Indrani's husband, took exception.

Shivde said Rai is not an accused (in Sheena Bora case) but only a witness (as he has turned approver), and his statement before the police was inadmissible as evidence.

Advocate Sudeep Passbola, lawyer of main accused Indrani, said as it was a statement made by an accused before the police, the court cannot record it. Prosecutor Bharat Badami said Rai himself will also be examined as a witness in the case. The court ordered that Dalvi shall not reveal names of any accused as named by Rai but can give details of spots (of alleged abduction, murder and disposal of Sheena's body).

Shivde said the defence lawyers wanted to challenge this order before the high court and sought two weeks' adjournment. Judge Mahajan then adjourned the hearing till March 16.

Advocate Shreyansh Mithare, lawyer of the co-accused Sanjeev Khanna, said they will move the high court next week. "We will file a writ petition next week," Mithare said. Sheena, Indrani's daughter from an earlier relationship, was killed on April 24, 2012, but the crime came to light only in August 2015 after Rai's arrest.

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