The Bombay High Court on Wednesday declined to grant bail to former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea, an accused in the murder of his step-daughter Sheena Bora, but allowed Arthur Road Jail authorities to take him to Asian Heart Institute under strict police escort for undergoing post-operative cardiac rehabilitation and physiotherapy sessions.
Mukerjea was seeking interim bail for undergoing 26 such sessions at the institute and to recuperate post surgery, however, the court maintained that “it was not inclined to grant interim bail”.
Advocate Shrikant Shivade, seeking interim bail before the vacation judge, said that Mukerjea has undergone a bypass surgery on March 25 and required 26 post-operative cardiac rehabilitation and physiotherapy, for which he needed to visit Asian Heart institute at Bandra.
Shivde informed the court that after the surgery, the doctors at the institute said that since there was a shortage of bed and they could not admit Mukerjea for three months, instead, they asked him to visit their OPD to complete the sessions.
Mukerjea’s advocate alleged that the jail authorities had not taken Mukerjea to the institute for his sessions since April 25 and that there was no cardiologist available in the jail. Shivade said it was difficult for Mukerjea to visit the institute, while he was still in jail. He also informed the court that there was a permission from a special court to hospitalise Mukerjea to the institute for three months.
Shivade said that Mukerjea “needs the post operative cardiac rehabilitation and physiotherapy or else he will die”. He said the Arthur Road Jail was highly infected and taking Mukerjea to the institute in a police van was “dangerous”.
A vacation bench of Justice Riyaz I Chagla said that the report of the institute clearly stated that Mukerjea has recovered and therefore, he has been discharged. Relying on the report, Justice Chagla said that he was not inclined to grant an interim bail.
Opposing the bail plea, CBI counsel had submitted a letter dated April 23 from the Asian Heart Institute, which stated that Mukerjea was not required to be hospitalised for post-operative cardiac rehabilitation and physiotherapy and that he has recovered from the surgery.
“It would be appropriate, in the circumstances, to undergo post-operative cardiac rehabilitation and physiotherapy at Asian Heart Institute, but this would be done with the strict police escort… for the period classified by the institute,” Justice Chagla said. The court posted the matter for hearing Mukerjea’s bail application on June 12.
Mukerjea, 63, had moved the High Court for bail last month after the special court rejected his bail plea on medical grounds. Following a bypass surgery for a complete blockage of a main heart artery, he was sent back to Arthur Road Jail on April 25 midnight.