CONCLUDING arguments for his bail, Peter Mukerjea’s defence lawyer on Tuesday made an appeal to the court that he could at most be charged for destruction of evidence.
Advocate Abad Ponda, appearing for the former television head honcho, said emails sent by Peter to his son Rahul, used as incriminating evidence by the CBI to book him under charges of conspiracy and murder of his stepdaughter Sheena Bora, should be viewed in totality.
“CBI is picking emails without context or without looking into their trail. At most, I can be charged under sections 201 or 202 (destruction of evidence and intentional omission) which are bailable,” Peter conveyed to the court through Ponda. Peter and wife Indrani, along with two others have been accused by the CBI of conspiring to kill Sheena on April 24, 2012.
“I, like everyone else, kept believing Sheena is alive. It was only when Indrani was arrested last year and we were in the police van that I asked her about it. She froze and kept quiet and that is when I realised something is serious. Call me a fool, call me a henpecked husband. I am guilty of that but I am not guilty of murder,” Peter conveyed to the court through Ponda.
Ponda argued against one of the claims of the CBI against Peter based on IPS officer Deven Bharti’s statement.
“Deven Bharti in his statement said he was introduced to Indrani and Peter through an acquaintance. Why would he say that when he was directly in touch with Indrani? There were two calls and three text messages on April 6 and 7 between them and eight calls by Indrani to Bharti on April 28. He has not said anything about these calls in his statements,” Ponda told the court.
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He alleged Bharti ‘did an about turn’ in his statements to CBI before Peter’s arrest and after it.
“He had earlier said when he was approached to trace the location of Sheena’s phone, it had been ascertained from the nodal officer. In the statement after my arrest, he has said that he was told by the couple to not proceed with tracing Sheena. I was not in touch with Bharti.
It was Indrani who was his friend,” Peter conveyed to the court through Ponda.
Ponda claimed the CBI had booked Peter under ‘imaginary and non-existent’ circumstances and it is a strong case for discharge.
He argued that Peter has been losing weight and is kept among ‘hardened criminals’ prompting the Judge to remind the defence counsel that Peter has been getting home food and his companion in the prison is NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal. The CBI will continue its arguments on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the special CBI court issued Letters Rogatory to be sent to Singapore, Hong Kong and USA to trace the money trail as part of the investigation.
The CBI had approached the court requesting for LRs to be issued.