Former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea was on Thursday arrested by the CBI in the Sheena Bora murder case, hours after the investigating agency chargesheeted his wife Indrani and two others.
“CBI has today arrested Peter Mukerjea in a case related to the murder of Sheena Bora. Further investigation is on,” a CBI spokesperson told Hindustan Times.
Investigators felt the need for a custodial interrogation as Peter was not forthright in answering some of their questions based on Indrani’s statement, sources in the CBI said.
Peter, who was being questioned over the last three days, was placed under arrest around 7.40pm. He will be produced before a special CBI court on Friday.
The CBI would probe whether he destroyed any evidence and ask him questions on why he never tried to know about Sheena’s whereabouts after she was last seen.
Sources also said Rahul Mukerjea, Peter’s son from another marriage, who was in a relationship with Sheena, was also being questioned.
Sheena, 24, the daughter of Indrani Mukerjea from a previous marriage, was strangled inside a car and her body was dumped in the Raigad forest outside Mumbai three years ago.
The CBI chargesheet named Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyamvar Rai as accused. They were all arrested in August this year, after Rai allegedly confessed while he was being interrogated in a different case.
Since the arrests, questions were raised over the television baron’s claim that he never knew his step daughter was dead.
CBI officials questioned Peter on the purpose of his trip to the United Kingdom and Rome at the time Sheena was killed, and about what Indrani had told him when she returned to India.
They also asked him why he called up a Mumbai rental from the UK on April 24, 2012 to book a car for Indrani. The car, an Opel Corsa, was allegedly used in the murder the same day.
Faizal Ahmed, the owner of the car rental AM Motors in Worli, who is also Peter’s friend, had earlier given a statement to the CBI confirming this.
The CBI also got to know from the statement of Mikhail Bora -- Sheena’s brother -- that Peter was aware Sheena was actually Indrani’s daughter, and not her sister, as was known outside the family.
Peter’s arrest gives a new twist to the sensational case, which was personally supervised by the then Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria, and later handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) by the Maharashtra Government considering a suspected money trail.
The CBI chargesheet, running into more than 1,000 pages and containing statements of 150 witnesses, 200 documents and seven statements recorded before magistrate, was submitted before magistrate RV Adone at Esplanade court in South Mumbai.
The agency has charged Indrani, Khanna and Rai with criminal conspiracy to kidnap, murder, cheating, destruction of evidence, forgery and use of forged documents, besides violation of provisions of Information Technology Act.