Over two months after she sought to become an approver in the alleged corruption case against INX Media, Indrani Mukerjea has claimed that a co-accused has approached her to retract her confessional statement.
In a letter written to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last month, Indrani said she was being “influenced” to not depose as a witness for the prosecution. Indrani is lodged in Byculla jail as an undertrial for the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena Bora in 2012. The one-page letter was sent to the CBI last month, in which she has neither named the co-accused nor mentioned where and when she was approached.
The CBI, on Monday, sought permission from the special CBI court to meet Indrani in jail on Tuesday to verify her claims and make inquiries in this regard. Special Judge J C Jagdale allowed a CBI official to meet Indrani on Tuesday. According to the FIR filed by the CBI on May 15, 2017, Indrani’s co-accused include her husband Peter Mukerjea, who was the then director of INX News, Karti P Chidambaram, director of Chess Management Services, Padma Vishwanathan, director of Advantage Strategic Consulting, along with unnamed officials of the Ministry of Finance.
In January, Indrani had sought to become an approver in the case, having earlier given a statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), claiming Karti had demanded US $1 million from her and Peter, who co-founded INX Media with her. Indrani had claimed that the demand was made to swing approvals from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.
In one of her previous bail applications filed last year, Indrani had referred to her statement in the INX case, claiming that it was against “influential” accused, including a former Union minister and that she felt a threat to her life. The CBI is likely to soon file a chargesheet and Indrani’s statement will form a part of it. If the trial court in Delhi allows her plea to turn approver, Indrani will be a prosecution witness.