IN THE Sheena Bora murder case, the defence claimed in the court on Thursday that the witness who had seen the accused, including Indrani Mukerjea, near the spot where Sheena’s body was allegedly burnt in 2012, had lied at the behest of police. Sandeep Patil, a gym owner, had claimed that he had seen Indrani, her former husband, Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyamvar Rai at Gagode Khind, the place where Sheena’s body had been burnt, according to the CBI. Patil gave a detailed deposition Wednesday claiming that he had seen the three in 2012 and identified them to be the same people he saw on news channels when the murder came to light in 2015.
Patil claimed that he had himself approached Khar police that was investigating the murder earlier and identified the three subsequently, in an identification parade. On Thursday, the defence cross-examined Patil on various aspects, including his claim to have seen and identified the three persons.
Defence advocate Niranjan Mundargi asked the witness if he remembered the height, weight or age of the panch witnesses or the tehsildar who had accompanied him to the prison to identify the accused in 2015. Patil said he did not. The line of questioning was to point out that while Patil had given a statement with clear descriptions of the three accused, he had claimed to have seen in 2012 while passing on his bike in half-a-minute, he did not know such details about those he saw in 2015. Two more witnesses will be examined on Friday.