Indrani Mukerjea, who has been charged with killing her daughter Sheena Bora, informed a special CBI court on Tuesday that she wants to file for divorce from Peter Mukerjea, a co-accused in the case. Special Judge H S Mahajan told her that it was her personal matter, and she could move the family court. Indrani also informed the court that she wants to make changes to her will. Last month, she had informed the court of her decision to donate 75 per cent of her wealth to ISKCON and an NGO working in the field of women and children.
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Indrani’s lawyer, Gunjan Mangala, said the grounds for divorce had not been decided yet. Sources said the decision came after Indrani felt she was being framed in the case and had been abandoned by family members. Earlier in the day, the court framed charges against Indrani, her husband Peter and former husband Sanjeev Khanna under various sections including murder and criminal conspiracy. All three pleaded not guilty to the charges.
All the three accused, who were present in court today, were charged under IPC sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 364 (kidnapping), 302 (murder), 203 (giving false information in respect of an offence) and 201 (destruction of evidence). Additionally, Indrani and Sanjeev were charged under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 120(b) (conspiracy) for allegedly plotting to kill her son and Sheena’s brother Mikhail Bora. Mikhail had earlier alleged that Indrani had spiked his drink on April 24, 2012 — the same day that Sheena was allegedly killed.
Besides, Indrani was also charged under IPC section 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record). The trial is likely to begin on February 1. The CBI had asked for the accused to be charged under five other sections — 202 (intentional omission to give information), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating) and 468 (forgery) — but the court said it did not find sufficient grounds.
The CBI had claimed that Indrani forged Sheena’s signature to send a resignation letter to the company she was employed with, and to end the contract with her landlord.
“I have carefully gone through statements of all the witnesses recorded under Section 161 as well as Section 164 of the code. Further, I have gone through email records, SMS records, call details. I have also gone through statements of witnesses… including of the approver (Shyamvar Rai)… there remains no doubt that the material is available showing that there are sufficient grounds for proceeding against all the accused,” the Judge said in his order.
According to the prosecution, Sheena was murdered on April 24, 2012, and her body was burnt and disposed of at a forest in Raigad district the next day.
Indrani was arrested in May 2015, after the arrest of her driver, Shyamvar Rai, for allegedly possessing an illegal weapon. The police claimed that on being interrogated, Rai revealed that he had been involved in Sheena’s murder. Subsequently, Peter Mukerjea and Sanjeev Khanna were also arrested. Rai later turned approver in the case.