Three years after they were arrested for the murder of 24-year-old Sheena Bora, Indrani and Peter Mukerjea on Tuesday filed for divorce before the family court in Bandra. The two have been married for 16 years.
Indrani and Peter lodged at Byculla Women’s Jail and Arthur Road Jail respectively, were brought to the court in Bandra (East) around 12 pm. After the divorce petition was filed, the two attended a mandatory counselling session for nearly 45 minutes, first individually, then together and then again individually.
As part of the procedure, they were told about the six-month period they would get to review their decision or they could go through with the divorce decree. The court will hear them next on March 25, 2019. The consent terms filed through their advocates Edith Dey, representing Indrani, and Sushmita Nair, representing Peter, include the financial settlement between the two, division of their immovable properties and personal articles.
The consent terms list out over 30 personal articles, which will be handed over by 64-year-old Peter to 46-year-old Indrani. These articles include rugs, carpets, chairs, including a ‘Gauri Khan chair’, sofas, a four-posted bed, lamps, bed linen, drapes, curtains, cutlery, crockery, towel, dining table set prints of Picasso and MF Husain and two specific paintings.
Peter has also agreed to handover a glass door with Vidhie’s name on it. Vidhie, the daughter of Indrani, from her previous marriage with Sanjeev Khanna, is adopted by Peter. The consent terms also state that Indrani will not claim men’s jewellery and watches, and Peter will handover women’s watches, clothes, shoes, sunglasses, bags and make-up lying in their two flats at Marlow building in Worli.
The consent terms also state that Peter will arrange to handover the items in this list within 20 days of a written request sent to him by Indrani or her lawyers or representatives.
“If Petitioner number 2 (Peter) fails to hand over the items within 30 days of the written request, Peter confirms that he will reimburse with Rs 1 crore in lieu of listed items (particularly the jewellery and watches belonging to Petitioner number 1,Indrani) within 60 days of the written request by her,” the consent terms read.
Among the other terms they have agreed upon include the division of their homes in Spain and United Kingdom, with the former to be Indrani’s and the latter that of Peter. Their two homes at Marlow building in Worli will be divided between the two, while the two homes in Goa will be that of Peter. The two have also divided their finances of over Rs 4.95 crore.
“Both the petitioners were and are unable to reconcile due to personal disagreements. The petitioners state that the relationship between them has become strained and they are no longer able to live as husband and wife,” the divorce petition states.
It has also specified that they are currently undertrials and have not co-habitated as husband and wife since Indrani was arrested in August 2015 and Peter in November 2015.
Apart from amicably settling the finances, the two have also agreed to undertake ‘to retain a healthy distance’ from each other and remove their association from each other from all media, social, online and otherwise in all matters completely. The couple married in Mumbai on November 10, 2002 under the Special Marriage Act.
In April this year, Indrani had sent a notice through her lawyers to Peter in jail for the divorce. Currently, the two are undergoing trial as co-accused in the alleged murder of Indrani’s daughter, Sheena, in 2012. Indrani, along with Peter and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna, allegedly murdered Sheena. The alleged crime was uncovered three years later in 2015.
The two are also co-accused in the alleged corruption case involving INX Media, which being investigated by the CBI in Delhi.