A special CBI court on Wednesday rejected the bail application of Indrani Mukerjea, facing trial for the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena Bora.
Mukerjea herself argued the bail plea – her first one on the merits of the case – claiming that the prosecution witnesses have so far not supported the allegations against her.
In a detailed order made available on Thursday, special judge J C Jagdale observed that important witnesses, including Rahul Mukerjea, who was in a relationship with Sheena, are yet to be examined.
Rahul is the son of Peter Mukerjea, Indrani’s former husband and an accused in the case. Rahul had claimed in his statements to the investigating agency that he had last seen Sheena with Indrani, co-accused Sanjeev Khanna and co-accused-turned-approver Shyamvar Rai on April 24, 2012, after which she was allegedly murdered.
Indrani told the court that the allegations brought against are only based on Rai’s submissions and are contrary to witness deposition. She claimed that some witnesses have given a different description of the car in which the murder allegedly took place. She also said that while it has been alleged that Sheena’s remains were buried in 2012 and exhumed within a few months as an unidentified person and later again in 2015 after the murder came to light, two skeletons had been produced as part of evidence in the court. She further alleged that there were discrepancies in the nature of injuries on the remains found.
The CBI, however, claimed that if released, Indrani would tamper with evidence as she is an influential person.
“…I am of the opinion that this court being a trial court with the trial still in progress, cannot assess the reliability or unreliability regarding the evidence on record… Moreover, this court cannot conclude at this point of time that the evidence of prosecution witnesses has given a clean chit to the applicant/accused (Mukerjea),” the special judge said. The court added that mid-trial, such an opinion about evidence, including witnesses or call data records, cannot be given.
On the ground that the trial will continue for a prolonged period, the court said that if all parties cooperate, the trial can be concluded within a short span of time.
So far, 67 witnesses have deposed in the case. However, the trial has been stalled since March following the imposition of the lockdown. Till now, the court had rejected four bail applications filed by Indrani — including one last month — on health grounds. One plea seeking interim bail due to the Covid-19 pandemic was also rejected by the court.
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