MIKHAIL BORA, son of Indrani Mukerjea who is standing trial in the Sheena Bora murder case, has sought grant of probate in his favour of a will left by his late grandmother Durgaranee.
Mikhail has claimed execution of the will and sought the portion of the property bequeathed to his deceased sister Sheena. On Thursday, during proceedings before the special CBI court in Mumbai, Indrani indicated she would contest Mikhail’s claim to the entire property.
Indrani approached the CBI investigator before the court Thursday, seeking the whereabouts of the original will made by her mother on April 30, 2012. An officer informed her it was in the court’s custody since it was part of the chargesheet. Special Judge H S Mahajan told Indrani she could apply for an attested copy of the will if required.
Indrani has been directed by a local court in Guwahati to appear before it in person or through a pleader on March 27 to file her objection if any to Mikhail’s application for the property.
The contention between Indrani and Mikhail relates to the will made by Durgaranee six days after Sheena’s murder (on April 24, 2012). The will has a Rs 2-crore property, including a plot of land with a two-storey house and two ‘Assam-type’ houses in Guwahati, of which Durgaranee’s husband, Upendra Bora, was the sole owner till his death in December 2016. Durgaranee died in November 2015.
In his application before the Guwahati court, Mikhail has claimed that the 2012 will indicates the manner of distribution of the property among the beneficiaries. Of the beneficiaries, Sheena Bora “is said to have died an unnatural death on 24.4.2012”, his plea states. As the murder came to light in 2015, it was not known at the time of the execution of the will on April 30, 2012, says the petition.
“…Hence the portion of the property bequeathed in favour of Miss Sheena Bora cannot be said to be ‘void’ or ‘lapsed’ but would go to the other legatee (Mikhail)…who after the lifetime of Sri Upendra Bora would be entitled to get the entire property described in the schedule of the will dated 30.4.2012,” says Mikhail’s plea.
Indrani indicated contesting this since the will did not state that the property in the name of Sheena would go to Mikhail in the event of her death. The mother-son duo has been estranged, with Mikhail even opposing interim bail to Indrani to visit their Guwahati home after the death of Upendra.
In the application, Mikhail has referred to the will made by Durgaranee in 2012, which stated that he and his elder sister Sheena were legally adopted by their grandparents in 1992 and that their biological mother, Indrani, had “not maintained any connection with her family”. Sheena and Mikhail’s father was a man named Siddhartha Das.
While Durgaranee had made her first will in 2009 dividing her property between Mikhail and Sheena, she revoked it as she was displeased with Sheena’s relationship with Rahul Mukerjea, Peter’s son. The 2012 will also, however, bequeathed property to Sheena with changes made to the distribution among the two.
Mikhail’s plea says Indrani had been left out of the will “since she had abandoned the children” and “they (Upendra and Durgaranee) had to sacrifice a lot for their upbringing, education and maintenance, while she did not keep in touch with them”.
Indrani, along with Peter and former husband Sanjeev Khanna, have been booked for Sheena’s murder.
Plea against cop’s deposition: CBI seeks 2 weeks to file reply
The CBI sought two weeks’ time to file its reply in the HC in an appeal filed by Indrani and Peter Mukerjea challenging the deposition of a police officer in the Sheena Bora murder trial. The CBI informed the court it would not proceed with any other witness till the reply was filed.
The trial has been put on hold till March 30. The couple had approached the court claiming the deposition of Khar police inspector Ganesh Dalvi which pertained to what Shyamvar Rai, Indrani’s driver who turned approver in the case, said during interrogation, was in violation of law.