THE CENTRAL Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday told the special court that it needed time to decide if it would challenge a Bombay HC order regarding the deposition of a police officer in the Sheena Bora murder case in the Supreme Court. The first witness in the case, a police sub-inspector of Khar police station, had begun deposing on February 23.
His deposition was stalled after objections from the defence advocates, representing the accused Indrani Mukerjea, Peter Mukerjea and Sanjeev Khanna. The officer, Ganesh Dalvi, had been talking about the disclosures made to him by accused-turned approver Shyamvar Rai regarding Bora’s murder. The defence advocates had pointed out that the court could rely on Rai’s statement, and not on what he said at the time of his interrogation by the police officer.
The CBI, however, had contended that the account was only to establish how the murder had came to light. While the special court had directed that the deposition continue, the advocates had moved the HC, which, last month, set aside the special court order and said Dalvi could not be considered an independent witness and his account of disclosures made by an accused before him could not be admitted as evidence.
The special public prosecutor told the special court on Monday that the CBI was yet to decide if it should approach the SC against this order. Special Judge J C Jagdale, who was hearing the matter for the first time after the previous judge was transferred, said that as the accused were in jail, ‘it is expected that the trial should proceed as early as possible’.
The CBI said that on the next date, it would inform the court whether it was approaching the HC or recording of evidence could continue. The case has been adjourned to June 22. The murder had come to light after Rai, Indrani’s driver, was arrested for possessing an illegal firearm and revealed his participation in the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora.
Meanwhile, Indrani has told the court that the Byculla jail authorities were not deciding on an application made by her to sign cheques for filing her taxes, her legal fees and for sending money to her daughter Vidhie, who lives abroad. In February, after allegations were made by Peter Mukerjea’s lawyers that his signature was forged on joint accounts held by Indrani and him, the court had passed an order stating that all applications for signatures on cheques could only be made through jail authorities.
On Monday, Indrani’s lawyer, Gunjan Mangala, told the court that though she had given an application to the jail authorities in April, they were yet to give a nod for the cheques to be encashed. The CBI objected to cheques marked by Indrani to herself, while giving their no-objection to others. The court has directed jail authorities to comply as per its previous order.