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MUMBAI: Former media baron Peter Mukerjea on Thursday told a trial court here that his wife and co-accused Indrani Mukerjea’s allegation that he may have played a role in Sheena Bora’s disappearance appeared to be a “desperate attempt by her to wriggle out of the situation”.
The CBI took the same line, dubbing Indrani Mukerjea’s application as malafide and filed with dishonest intentions.
Indrani and Peter Mukerjea are among those arrested in the case related to the April 2012 murder of Sheena, her daughter from an earlier relationship.
“The application by Indrani is with an ulterior motive to malign the reputation and cause serious prejudice (against Peter Mukerjea),” he said in the reply filed today.
On November 15, Indrani Mukerjea filed an application demanding that Peter Mukerjea’s call data records (CDR) be disclosed, and also alleged that he may have played a role in Sheena Bora’s disappearance and framed up Indrani.
Peter Mukerjea’s reply said the allegations were “completely false and defamatory”, and apparently a “desperate attempt … to wriggle out of the situation thereby trying to play the victim card”.
The allegations were “wanton and baseless” and “based on the figment of Indrani’s imagination”, the reply said.
The CBI said that Indrani Mukerjea had made all the efforts, after abduction and killing of Sheena, to destroy the evidence.
There was sufficient evidence “to prove the allegations against her and other accused including the role played by each accused in commission of the offence”, it said.
Indrani Mukerjea filed the application to “divert/twist the attention and concentration of approver Shyamwar Rai” (the couple’s former driver) whose cross-examination is now “at a crucial stage”, the agency said.
Judge JC Jagdale sought to know from lawyers of both sides whether Indrani Mukerjea’s application can be considered under section 30 of the Indian Evidence Act. The section deals with a situation where a person’s confession affects not only his/her own case, but that of other accused too.
He also asked the lawyers to state if Indrani’s allegations are “exculpatory” (favouring her own case or absolving her) or “inculpatory” (incriminating her).
The court would hear the arguments on December 5.
On November 15, Indrani filed an application which said that Peter might have caused her daughter’s disappearance out of “greed and ill-will”.
She did not expressly accuse Peter Mukerjea of killing Sheena Bora, but said he and Shyamwar Rai could be behind her abduction, making her untraceable and destroying evidence. She also alleged that Peter Mukerjea may have tried to frame her (Indrani) up.
The application sought copies of call detail records of Peter Mukerjea for the period between January 2012 and December 2012 and January 2015 to December 2015.
Sheena Bora’s murder came to light in August 2015 after Rai, arrested in another case, spilled the beans.