Updated: May 18, 2022 1:47:24 pm
Observing that “Six and a half years is too long a time”, a bench of the Supreme Court Wednesday granted bail to Indrani Mukerjea, the prime accused in the murder case of her daughter, Sheena Bora. Mukherjee was arrested in 2015 and she was chargesheeted along with former husbands Sanjiv Khanna and Peter Mukerjea, the ex-CEO of Star India. Her plea for bail was earlier rejected by the Bombay High Court in 2021, while Peter walked free in March 2020.
Here’s a timeline of events in the Sheena Bora muder case:
21 August 2015: Shyamvar Rai, Indrani’s driver is arrested in an Arms Act case involving a pistol. He told police that the pistol had been given to him by Indrani. His arrest led to a murder probe after he spoke of his involvement in a murder, and of body parts being buried in Pen, Raigad in the last week of May 2012.
26 August 2015: Indrani was arrested by the police in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Sheena, whose body was later allegedly set ablaze and disposed of, in 2012. Sheena was reported missing by Rahul Mukerjea, son of Peter Mukerjea from an earlier marriage, who was reportedly engaged to Sheena. However, Peter and Indrani did not approve of the relationship.
27 August 2015: Indrani’s ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, Sheena’s step-father, is arrested from Kolkata. After questioning Indrani and Sanjeev separately, police claimed that 22-year-old Sheena was killed inside a moving car on April 24, 2012. Driver Shyam Rai is alleged to have burnt the body later. The charred body was disposed in parts, some remains buried at a spot in Pen. Sheena is said to be the daughter of a Tripura-based man named Siddharth Das, Indrani’s first husband.
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30 August 2015: Indrani, Sanjeev and Rai are taken by the police to Raigad forests to recreate crime scene.
18 September 2015: The Maharashtra government transferred investigations into the murder case from the Mumbai Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). This comes a day after it emerged that current Mumbai Police Commissioner Ahmad Javed “knew” Indrani and Peter and had invited them to a social function last year.
19 November 2015: Indrani’s husband at the time, Peter, is arrested by the CBI.
23 December 2016: A special court begins hearing hearing arguments against framing of charges against Indrani. The CBI has alleged that along with her daughter Sheena, Indrani had also wanted to kill son Mikhail in April 2012. The chargesheet claims that on the day Sheena was murdered, Mikhail, staying at Indrani’s Worli home, was given a spiked drink.
27 December 2016: Indrani was released from jail for a day after a CBI court allowed her to perform her father’s last rites.
February 2017: Trial begins. Indrani and Peter charged with conspiracy to kill Sheena Bora.
25 June 2017: Indrani along with a group of inmates were booked for rioting inside Byculla jail in Mumbai after a 31-year-old inmate was allegedly thrashed by police and succumbed to her injuries.
18 September 2018: Indrani and Peter file for divorce before the family court in Bandra through mutual consent.
3 October 2018: The family court grants divorce to Indrani and Peter following 17 years of marriage.
20 March 2019: Peter released from jail after a six-week stay on his bail granted by the Bombay High Court ended. Peter had submitted that he was not in the country when the incident took place and that the CBI had no evidence to prove his involvement.
13 February 2020: During the trial in the case, the CBI told the court that Indrani had paid Google Rs 110 to access Sheena’s email account months after her murder to communicate with others in order to prove she was still alive.
23 September 2020: A special CBI court rejected the interim bail application of Shyamvar Rai, who turned an approver in the murder case. While rejecting the plea, the court had then said that Rai is not an accused in the case but an approver since he sought to become a prosecution witness for the CBI. The court had said that as an approver, he is not entitled for bail until the end of the trial unless there are some “extraordinary circumstances”.
17 August 2021: The CBI informed a special court that it has finished investigating the Sheena Bora murder case.
November 2021: In a written letter to the CBI, Indrani claims that suspended cop Asha Korke, who was lodged in Byculla jail as her co-inmate, had approached her and said that she had seen her daughter Sheena Bora alive in 2021 in Kashmir.
3 March 2022: “It is a cooked up story either by accused (Indrani) or by the so-called Ms Asha Korke. Investigation conducted by CBI clearly established that Sheena Bora is dead and she was killed by Indrani Mukerjea in conspiracy with other co-accused,” the CBI said in its reply filed before the special court.
16 March 2022: A Mumbai court granted Indrani bail in connection to a case lodged following rioting in Byculla jail in 2017.
4 May 2022: Special Judge S P Naik-Nimbalkar issued witness summons to Rahul, with the trial in the case likely to resume soon. The trial has seen 67 witnesses depose so far, including a few forensic experts, and Shyamvar Rai.
18 May 2022: Indrani Mukerjea is granted bail by the Supreme Court.
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