A family court in Bandra on Thursday granted a divorce to Peter Mukerjea and his estranged wife Indrani, who have been behind bars since 2015 for the alleged murder of latter’s daughter from previous marriage, Sheena Bora. The divorce was granted to the co-founders of INX Media by mutual consent, bringing their 17 years of marriage to an end.
On Thursday, Indrani was brought from Byculla women’s prison, where she is lodged and Peter was brought from Arthur Road jail, before the family court. The two through their lawyers, Edith Dey and Sushmita Nair, had worked out the consent terms for nearly a year after court hearings in the alleged murder trial before the sessions court.
The consent terms agreed upon by the two included monetary, financial settlement between them, division of their immovable properties as well as their personal articles. The properties include their Marlow building residence in Worli as well as properties in Spain, United Kingdom and Goa. Last month, the two had with permission from court visited a bank branch in Worli, to operate their bank accounts for transfer of the fixed deposits they held, including 32 fixed deposits of Rs 10 lakh each. They had earlier informed the court that they were dividing finances of over Rs 4.95 crore.
Their consent terms also listed out 30 personal items — including rugs, carpets, chairs and paintings — that were agreed upon to be transferred from Peter, the 63-year-old former Star India CEO, to 47-year-old Indrani. The terms also said that Indrani will not claim men’s jewellery, watches and Peter will handover women’s watches, clothes, shoes, makeup lying in their flats in Worli. Their joint divorce plea had said that they were unable to “reconcile due to personal disagreements” and that their relationship had strained. The plea had also said that they are currently undertrials and have not co-habitated since Indrani’s arrest in August 2015. Peter was arrested by the CBI in November 2015 on allegations of conspiring with Indrani to kill Sheena in 2012, as they were unhappy with her relationship with Rahul, Peter’s son from an earlier marriage.
Indrani and Peter are also co-accused in the INX Media alleged corruption case in Delhi, where their co-accused include former union minister P Chidambaram. Indrani has turned an approver in the case.
Indrani and Peter married in Mumbai on November 10, 2002, under the Special Marriage Act. The two had co-founded INX Media. After their arrests in 2015, Indrani had informed a special court in January 2017 for the first time, that she wanted a divorce. In April 2018, she subsequently sent him a legal notice in prison, for divorce through mutual consent, which was responded to by Peter in June to initiate terms of settlement. In September 2018, they filed for divorce jointly and underwent a mandatory counselling session. The two will continue to face the murder trial together as co-accused.