Media tycoon Indrani Mukerjea, who is on trial for allegedly murdering her daughter Sheena Bora, has moved a special CBI court seeking permission from the probe agency to divorce co-accused Peter Mukerjea.
Indrani, who had married Peter in 2002, also said she wanted to change her will and donate the money to charity organisations.
On Tuesday, the court charged Indrani, Peter and her first husband Sanjeev Khanna with Sheena’s murder – setting the stage for the start of the murder trial. They were also charged with conspiring, kidnapping, destroying evidence and giving false information.
Peter had met Indrani – who then possessed the Bora surname – at the erstwhile Library Bar of the Hotel Taj President in 2002. They later tied the knot in a quiet affair, with a few close friends and Peter’s family members in attendance.
The marriage opened a new chapter in Peter and Indrani’s life. Peter, who was living on rent at Marlow Building from 2000, bought the same apartment he was staying in. It also marked a new beginning for Indrani, with the media tycoon adopting her husband’s surname.
Indrani, who operated a head-hunting firm called INX Services Private Limited in Mumbai, received a boost with Peter at the helm of affairs.
As Indrani steadily rose through the ranks, Peter made a mark in the Indian television industry with the immensely popular ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ – a quiz show with legendary Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan as the quiz master. It took the popularity of Star TV – and Peter himself – to new heights. The 9 pm show, with its star-cast and swanky sets, attracted the attention of millions of Indian households. While the first season of the show offered 10 million rupees to the winner, the next doubled the award money.
But then the hiccups began, for Peter as well as the TV show. Kaun Banega Crorepati was discontinued in 2001, and though the show was restarted in 2005 after a four-year hiatus, it had to be halted again when Bachchan fell ill in 2006.
This coincided with a leadership change at Star TV, and Peter put in his papers to start a new news channel with Indrani. However, a non-compete clause he had signed prevented him from joining NewsX television for six months. That did not stop the couple from forming new companies, including INX News Private Limited on December 22, 2006. Their relationship reportedly began souring after 2012.
The three are accused of killing 24-year-old Sheena on April 23, 2012, before disposing of her body at a forest in Maharashtra’s Raigad district.
Though Sheena was Indrani’s daughter from her first marriage, the media tycoon insisted on introducing her as her sister after tying the knot with Peter.
Indrani also has a son, Mikhail, who has accused her of trying to poison him during a visit to Mumbai.