In a fresh twist in the Sheena Bora murder case, former media magnate Peter Mukherjea was today arrested by CBI, hours after it filed a chargesheet in which his wife Indrani Mukherjee, the mother of the victim born from her first marriage, and two others were accused of the crime.The CBI spokesperson said that Mukherjea’s name surfaced during its probe in the case and “he has been arrested”.The spokesperson refused to divulge any further details in the case but sources in the probe agency said he has been arrested for allegedly “shielding the accused” and “inconsistencies” in his statements. Peter was placed under arrest after another round of questioning today.
He has been kept in the office of Special Task Force of CBI here and will be produced before the competent court tomorrow.The development came on a day when the CBI filed a chargesheet in the murder of Sheena Bora who was allegedly murdered by her mother Indrani Mukerjea, Indrani’s former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyamvar Rai here in April 2012. The body of the 24-year-old was dumped in a forest in the neighbouring Raigad district.The chargesheet was filed three months after Sheena Bora’s remains were found in a forest near Mumbai.
The chargesheet, running into more than 1,000 pages and containing statements of 150 witnesses, 200 documents and seven statements recorded before magistrate, was submitted before magistrate RV Adone at Esplanade court in South Mumbai.It names Indrani, Khanna and Rai as accused–who were all arrested in August this year.
The agency has charged them with criminal conspiracy to kidnap, murder, cheating, destruction of evidence, forgery and use of forged documents besides violation of provisions of Information Technology Act.The CBI, which was handed over the case on September 29 after a turf-war between the ousted Commissioner Rakesh Maria and the new incumbent Ahmed Javed, had questioned Mukherjea for hours before it was decided to place him under arrest, the sources said.
Peter’s lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani said he was surprised at the decision of CBI to place him under arrest. “I will be extremely shocked if the news about his arrest is true,” he said.”I contacted him through messages and my last contact was well past 7.30pm when he informed me that he was being questioned by the CBI and that he would contact me later,” he said. Sheena Bora was allegedly murdered by her mother, Indrani’s former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyamvar Rai here in April 2012 and her body was dumped in a forest in the neighbouring Raigad districtIndrani, Khanna and Rai are currently lodged in judicial custody here which is due to expire tomorrow.
Last week, the magistrate’s court recorded the confession of Shyamvar Rai under section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code, which, unlike a police statement, is admissible as evidence in the court, a CBI official said.Rai had written to the court and had said he wanted to reveal “the truth” about the case.According to the Mumbai police which initially probed the case, Sheena was strangled inside a car and her body was burnt before being dumped in the forest.
The police had to take the help of forensic experts to confirm that the remains found in Raigad forest were that of Sheena.Ever since the investigation began, the case has been through some dramatic turns like hospitalisation of Indrani after she collapsed in the Byculla prison.The police had also questioned Mukerjea during the probe.The case also generated much political heat with the opposition attacking the BJP-led Government in the state for abrupt transfer of Rakesh Maria in September in the midst of the probe.