Rahul Mukerjea, son of former Star TV CEO Peter Mukerjea, told a special court on Tuesday that he had in 2011, while trying to rent out a flat, submitted fabricated documents to show that he and his “fiance” Sheena Bora were married because as an unmarried couple, they were facing difficulty in finding “decent places” to live in in the city.
Rahul is currently deposing as a witness in the murder trial of Bora and is facing cross-examination before the court on behalf of accused Indrani Mukerjea, Bora’s mother and Peter’s former wife.
On Tuesday, Indrani’s lawyer Ranjeet Sangle, during Rahul’s cross-examination, confronted the latter with documents submitted by him and Bora in 2011 while entering into a leave and license agreement with the owners of a flat they wanted to rent. Sangle said that one of the documents was a forged one to show that Rahul and Bora were married.
“It is true to say that I misrepresented to Mr and Mrs Machado (the flat owners) that Sheena Bora was my wife at that time. It was difficult to find decent places to live for an unmarried couple in Mumbai, therefore, I have said so (that they were married),” Rahul told the special court. He added that Bora and he had been engaged at that time, though no official ceremony in this regard had taken place. He said that Bora and he had made a decision to marry each other. The document submitted for the rent agreement was a “marriage certificate” purported to be from the UK stating that they married in 2010.
“It is true to say that when I submitted the marriage certificate, I was fully aware that I am not legally married to Sheena Bora at that time,” he told the court when asked about it by Sangle.
Rahul also accepted that he and Bora did not visit the UK together in 2010. He accepted that the document was forged and fabricated, and that doing so was an offence. Sangle also presented a document submitted at the time of the rent agreement, which showed that Rahul was working as an employee in the programming department of a channel of 9X Media Pvt Ltd – the company co-founded by Peter and Indrani.
Rahul said that he did not remember submitting the document but recognised his father’s signature. Rahul accepted that he did not work at the company. He submitted that Bora had submitted the document.
“It is true that the document was solely prepared for the purpose of registration of the leave and license agreement,” he told the court. He added that it was his father’s company and he had never felt that there would be an issue regarding it. Peter, Indrani and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna are facing trial for the murder of Bora in 2012. Rahul is one of the prime witnesses in the case. His cross-examination began on Monday and will continue later this month. During his examination-in-chief in June, Rahul had deposed on how the last time he had seen Bora was when he dropped her to Indrani’s car on April 24, 2012, the day she is said to have been murdered.