INDRANI MUKERJEA’S former driver Shyamvar Rai told a special court Friday that he didn’t know turning approver could mean he would escape punishment in the Sheena Bora murder case. Rai was being cross-examined by advocate Sudeep Pasbola, who represents Indrani, the main accused in the case. Rai had last year expressed his desire to become an approver, claiming remorse.
On Friday, Rai told the court that when he was lodged in Arthur Road jail, he contemplated confessing to the crime. He told the court that he could not recollect whether he knew at that time what a prosecution witness is, but learnt within two-three months in the jail that he could become one. “I have no knowledge that I will be acquitted from this case and no punishment will be awarded to me. In this court, I was not told by the judge that no punishment will be awarded to me,” Rai told the court.
The special court had allowed his plea of pardon on June 20, 2016 with the condition that he make a full disclosure as a prosecution witness. “I have no knowledge that to become an approver one has to comply with certain conditions. I cannot recollect what exactly the court instructed me about the conditions on the basis of which I was allowed to become an approver,” Rai told the court.
He said he had not told anyone that he wished to become a prosecution witness. “I cannot recollect as to whether I had directed someone and he brought some handwritten or typewritten contents, where it was mentioned that I want to become a prosecution witness… I cannot state under which section the application to become an approver can be made,” Rai said. He also said that he could not recollect as to whether he had instructed anybody to place an application under section 307 of the Criminal Procedure Code to become an approver.
In a letter sent to the special CBI court on April 29, 2016, Rai had stated that he wanted to seek pardon by becoming an approver under section 307 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Further, on being asked if he could read English, Rai said he could not. On being shown the letter, Rai said it bears his signature. He said that the date written on it was by a jail officer as per his instruction.
The cross-examination will continue on Monday. Last week, Rai in his deposition had said that he was present when Indrani along with her former husband Sanjeev Khanna had allegedly kidnapped and killed her daughter Sheena on April 24, 2012.