For the second day in a row, Peter Mukerjea’s defence team argued why only Peter’s conversations with his wife and co-accused Indrani were being treated as ‘incriminating’ by CBI, when she had ‘repeatedly spoken to’ three other people, including IPS officer Deven Bharti, before and after the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora.
The other two are psychiatrist Dr Yusuf Matcheswala and Indrani’s secretary Kajal Sharma.
Arguing for his bail, Peter’s advocate Abad Ponda referred to the call data records (CDR) of Indrani Mukerjea, part of the CBI chargesheet, to make these claims. The CBI’s chargesheet has said that Indrani was in the city between April 4 and April 9 in 2012 to plan Sheena’s murder. The phone calls between Peter and Indrani during this period are part of the evidence presented against him.
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“The records show that Indrani had spoken to Kajal Sharma, Deven Bharti and Dr. Matcheswala in April before the murder. Yet, only Peter’s calls with her have been considered culpable,” Ponda told the court.
As per the CDRs referred to by Ponda, on April 6, Indrani called Bharti at 9 am and the conversation lasted for 141 seconds. Another conversation on the same day at 11.52 am between them lasted for 41 seconds. “Three texts were also exchanged between Indrani and Bharti on the same day. Why did she speak with the Joint CP when the CBI claims she was planning the murder? I am not saying that he is a co-conspirator, but if these calls are not objectionable, why are calls between a husband and wife not treated as normal calls?” Ponda submitted before the court. He added that Bharti’s statements before the CBI made no mention of these calls and text messages between him and Indrani prior to Sheena’s murder.
He also said that as many as eight calls were made by Indrani to Bharti on April 28, four days after the murder. Bharti, who was then the additional CP (crime), in his statement, had said that Indrani and Peter had approached him to trace the location of a missing relative.
Ponda also referred to phone calls between Indrani and Dr Matcheswala. “Indrani spoke to Dr Matcheswala four times on April 7 and three times on April 8. Three messages were also exchanged between them on April 6. It is the CBI’s case that sedatives given to Sheena were from the oral prescription by Dr Matcheswala,” Ponda told the court.
Ponda also said that a day before the murder, Indrani had spoken to her secretary Sharma 12 times. “On the day of the murder too, Indrani and Kajal had phone conversations eight times, while there were hardly any calls between Indrani and Peter on the same day. Peter last spoke to Indrani at 2 pm and then directly at 11 pm, many hours after the alleged murder, which took place around 6.30 pm. There was no message sent by her to Peter to say ‘mission successful’,” Ponda told the court.
“I am not saying that these three are part of the conspiracy to kill Sheena. I am only saying I am definitely not,” Ponda said on behalf of Peter before the court.
Special Judge H S Mahajan will continue hearing arguments on Monday. This is Peter’s second bail application, after the first got rejected by the same court in February before the chargesheet against him was filed by the CBI.