Sheena Bora murder: Peter Mukerjea manages to get a stay on framing of charges till November 29

Updated: Nov 16, 2016, 10:41 IST | Vinay Dalvi |

Claiming that it was a curtailment of his rights, he got the HC to stay the charges till he is handed over all the documents from the prosecution

Peter Mukerjea
Peter Mukerjea

Just as the special CBI court was about to frame charges in the high-profile Sheena Bora murder case, one of the accused — former media honcho Peter Mukerjea — has managed to get Bombay High Court’s stay on it on the grounds that the CBI is yet to hand over the statement by its secret witness number 11.

Curtailment of rights?
Peter’s counsel, Abad Ponda, told Justice Revati Mohite Dere that the CBI is likely to open its arguments in the special CBI court soon and frame charges, but the CBI has not handed over all the documents — including the crucial statement of secret witness number 11 — to the accused. He claimed that it was equivalent to a curtailment of his rights. CBI’s counsel, Sandesh Patil, sought time to reply, but Ponda asked the court that Patil state that till the matter is adjudicated, no charges will be framed. Accordingly, Justice Dere stayed the sessions court argument, earlier scheduled for Tuesday, and posted the matter for Thursday.

Courting differences
Previously, special CBI judge HS Mahajan had rejected Mukerjea’s plea and stated that documents can be handed only after framing of charges, after which he approached the Bombay High Court.

Following the stay order from the HC, the sessions court posted the matter for November 29 and also extended the judicial custody of all the accused — Indrani Mukerjea, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna, driver Shyamvar Rai and Peter.

Bail order still pending
Meanwhile, Justice Nitin Sambre of the Bombay High Court has posted Mukerjea’s bail application on Wednesday where it will hear the CBI counsel Anil Singh.

In the court, Ponda claimed, “Driver Shyamvar Rai, who is one of the accused turned approver, had in November, 2015, given a 164 statement (confessional) but never taken Mukerjea’s name. It was only in the supplementary chargesheet filed in October, 2016 that he has named Mukerjea, but still clarified that the prime accused was his wife Indrani,” adding, “He had earlier said Indrani spoke to her son Mikhail, but now he is claiming that Indrani spoke to Peter and told him about the place in Khalapur and that it was a good place to bury. This has been done by the CBI in a bid to frame him.”

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