Nearly three years since her arrest for the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena, Indrani Mukerjea, former CEO of INX Media, has filed a bail application before the special CBI court in Mumbai. The application, made through her advocate Gunjan Mangla, was filed last week. The court has directed the CBI to file its say on the plea.
Sources said Indrani’s plea has sought bail on several grounds, including an alleged threat to her life. She has cited two instances when she was hospitalised following a suspected drug overdose.
On April 6 this year, Indrani was rushed to the state-run JJ Hospital from Byculla women’s court where she is lodged, in a semi-conscious state, complaining of uneasiness and difficulty in breathing. While the hospital authorities had said she had an overdose of anti-depressants that were not prescribed to her, the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory’s report had ruled out a drug overdose, as the reason behind Indrani’s illness. When she was produced before the court later, Indrani had claimed that there might have been an attempt to poison her in jail.
Her bail plea also cites medical grounds, including “blackouts” she frequently experiences in prison.
Further, Indrani has cited her status as a “witness” in the alleged murder case of convict Manjula Shetye on June 23, where six jail staffers were arrested. She has also referred to her statements given to the CBI in the INX Media alleged corruption case in Delhi, where former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti are among those named as accused.
Since her arrest in the case in August 2015, Indrani had filed for interim bail of two weeks in December 2016, for performing the last rites of her father Upendra Bora. The court had, however, only allowed her to be escorted by guards for the day-long rites within the city.
Indrani is facing trial for the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena on April 24, 2012. Also facing trial is her husband Peter Mukerjea, former CEO of Star India; and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna. The bail applications of Mukerjea and Khanna filed previously have been rejected by the special court.
The trial in the case began last year with over 10 witnesses having deposed so far, including driver-turned-approver Shyamvar Rai, Indrani’s former secretary Kajal Sharma and her son Mekhail, whose cross-examination is currently underway.