Peter Mukerjea gets bail in Sheena Bora murder case
But, he will stay put in jail after HC stays order for six weeks giving CBI time to make an appeal
The Bombay High Court has granted bail to former media mogul Peter Mukerjea, who was arrested in the Sheena Bora murder case in 2015. The court observed that "prima facie there was no evidence of his involvement in the crime," but has stayed the order for six weeks for the CBI to be able to make an appeal. Mukerjea was granted conditional bail by Justice Nitin Sambre against a surety of R2 lakh. He has been asked not to contact his children Rahul and Vidhie or other witnesses in the case.
The court has asked Mukerjea to deposit his passport with the CBI.
Mukerjea was arrested on November 19, 2015, in the murder case which has his ex-wife Indrani Mukerjea as the main accused.
Indrani Mukerjea, Peter's ex-wife, is one of the prime accused in the murder of her daughter, Sheena Bora
"When the incident took place, the applicant (Peter Mukerjea) was not in India. The trial in the case is already underway. The applicant is in jail for over four years and has recently undergone bypass surgery," observed Justice Sambre over the bail.
"Except for the statement of the approver in the case, Shyamwar Rai, there is no reference to Peter Mukerjea in any evidence. There is no other evidence to show his involvement in the conspiracy," the court said.
Justice Sambre said on April 24, 2012, the date of the alleged killing, there was direct involvement of Indrani Mukerjea and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna in the offence, as alleged by the CBI.
The court further observed that there is "no explanation" put forth by the CBI as to why Mukherjea was considered as an accused in the case six months after the arrest of the other accused.
The court also refused to accept the prosecution's argument that Mukerjea conspired to kill Sheena Bora as he was unhappy with the relationship between her and his son Rahul Mukerjea.
"This court has perused various emails exchanged between the applicant and Rahul Mukerjea. It is difficult to infer there was any criminal intent on part of Peter Mukerjea to indulge in the crime in question," Justice Sambre said.
"The applicant was only trying to counsel his son, being a responsible father," the judge added.
According to the CBI, Peter Mukerjea along with Indrani Mukerjea and her previous husband Sanjeev Khanna entered into a criminal conspiracy to kill Sheena Bora. Sheena Bora, 24, was Indrani's daughter from an earlier relationship. The killing came to light in 2015 when Indrani's driver Shyamwar Rai, who had helped them dispose of the body, was arrested in another case. Rai later turned approver in the Sheena Bora case. Indrani and Sanjeev Khanna are also lodged in jail since their arrest in the case in April 2015.
Nov 19, 2015
Day Mukerjea was arrested
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