June 1, 2018 2:58:08 am
IN THE Sheena Bora murder case, the defence claimed that the CBI had threatened to make Kajal Sharma, the former secretary of main accused, Indrani Mukerjea, an accused in the case and forced her to give a false statement. Sharma denied the claim before the court on Thursday.
On the last day of her cross-examination, as the third prosecution witness in the case, Sharma faced questions from advocate Shrikant Shivade, representing Indrani’s husband and co-accused, Peter Mukerjea. Shivade suggested that Sharma had been taken to the CBI office and interrogated for four hours, during which she was told that she would be implicated in the case as an accused if she did not give a statement. “It is not correct to say that,” Sharma responded.
Sharma, who began deposing in the case from April, faced questions ranging from her knowledge on computers, Skype accounts and her former boss, Indrani. The CBI claimed that after Sheena was murdered by her mother, Indrani, along with her former husband, Sanjeev Khanna and then driver, Shyamvar Rai, in conspiracy with Peter Mukerjea, Indrani had made Sharma sign as Sheena on a resignation letter and a leave and license cancellation letter, sent to her landlord to not create suspicion about her sudden disappearance.
Sharma has previously told the court that Indrani had told her that Sheena was in the US and did not have Internet access and hence she required to sign as Sheena. Shivade on Thursday asked Sharma why she had initially refused to sign as Sheena when asked by Indrani. “I refused as I am not Sheena so I had asked her why she was asking me to sign as her,” Sharma told the court.
When asked further if she knew that the instructions given by her employer (Indrani) were wrong, Sharma said that at that time she was instructed by her boss and did not think it was anything wrong. “At that time, I had such a state of mind, that Indrani would not give me any wrong instruction,” Sharma said.
Sharma then broke into tears while standing in the witness box. Her husband, also present in the courtroom, walked past the room to give her his handkerchief. After she composed herself, Sharma further agreed to being asked that she was a trustworthy and ‘extremely loyal’ employee. On being asked by Shivade, Sharma also denied that in 2012 Indrani had handed over the phone to her, while she was talking to Peter and that Sharma had then said to him, “Hi Jiju, I am fine.”
Before his arrest in the case in 2015, Peter had allegedly claimed that he was made to believe by Indrani that Sheena was alive and that he had also spoken to someone, who he was told was Sheena. Shivade suggested to Sharma that she had ‘pre-planned’ the conversation she had with Peter, which Sharma denied.
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