TRIAL IN the Sheena Bora murder case resumed with the deposition of the complainant in the case on Tuesday. Police Sub-Inspector Ganesh Dalvi, the first prosecution witness, was examined by the CBI prosecutor on Tuesday. The trial had been stalled since February.
Dalvi was part of the team which arrested main accused Indrani Mukerjea’s driver, Shyamvar Rai, who has now turned an approver in the case. The CBI alleges that after Rai was arrested for carrying an unlicensed firearm in 2015 under the Arms Act that he spilled the beans on the murder of Sheena Bora in 2012. On Tuesday, Dalvi said that after Rai was arrested in the Arms Act case, he revealed that he had committed another offence. Special Public Prosecutor Kavita Patil referred to portions of the panchnama, where Rai allegedly revealed about the offence. Dalvi told the court that based on Rai’s alleged revelations, a police team from Khar police station accompanied him along with two panch witnesses to the National College in Bandra. “The accused (Rai) pointed towards the place where the victim was kidnapped from,” Dalvi told the court.
Dalvi added that on further directions of Rai, they went to Bandra, Sion, Chembur, Vashi and then on the Mumbai-Pune expressway towards the Khopoli toll naka. Rai then allegedly directed the police team towards a village named Gagode Khurd and eventually pointed towards a spot 60-70 feet deep. “The accused pointed towards a place where the victim was burnt after pouring petrol on her,” Dalvi said. He further said that he tried to find any evidence there but could not and they returned to Pen police station under whose jurisdiction the area fell.
Dalvi said that he then inquired about details of any previous case that may have taken place during the time period mentioned by Rai. He added that there were entries of May 2012, including letters sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory and the anatomy department of J J Hospital for analysis of human body parts found in their jurisdiction. Dalvi further said that the team had later returned to Mumbai and Rai took them to his home in Santacruz. A woman, later identified as Rai’s wife, Sharda, opened the door and was informed about a home search. Dalvi claimed that in the search they found a licence where the address mentioned was that of INX Media, co-owned by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. The witness also said that Rai had led them to a photograph with a group of three men and a woman. Dalvi said that Rai recognised the woman to be Sheena Bora.
Dalvi further said that based on the information provided by Rai, he concluded that Rai, Indrani and Sanjeev Khanna had conspired in kidnapping and murdering Bora. He had then filed a complaint on behalf of the state under sections including 120B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code. With the defence advocates raising an objection on this evidence, special CBI court Judge J C Jagdale said that it would be subject to admissibility. The advocates also filed an application seeking to defer the cross-examination of Dalvi till Rai is examined as a witness. The court will hear arguments on the plea on July 17.