It was a conversation between Peter Mukerjea and his son Rahul that may have led to the arrest of the INX Media co-founder in the Sheena Bora murder case.
The CBI told the court on Friday that Rahul, who was in a relationship with Sheena, had recorded a conversation with Peter, in which he asked his father where Sheena was.
Peter allegedly told him that Sheena was doing fine in the US and that he had spoken to her. The CBI is now questioning Peter on why he lied to his son on Sheena’s whereabouts.
Peter, who was produced in the court on Friday afternoon, has been charged under Section 201 of the Indian Penal Code for causing disappearance of evidence and giving false information to screen an offender.
The additional solicitor general appeared on behalf of the CBI, while Peter was represented by advocate Niranjan Mundargi.
Sheena, 24, the daughter of Peter’s wife Indrani from a previous marriage, was allegedly strangled inside a car before her body was dumped in a forest in Raigad in 2012. The CBI’s charge sheet names Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and former driver Shyamvar Rai as accused. They were all arrested in August after Rai allegedly spilled the beans while being interrogated in a different case.
The CBI sought 14 days custody for Peter to probe the alleged discrepancies in his statements and to find out whether was involved in the destruction of evidence. The agency also said it needed to look into financial transactions related to the case, and into why Sheena’s purse, mobile phone and ATM card are missing.
The defence, meanwhile, claimed that Peter was being framed and that he had no intention to misguide Rahul.
“As Sheena was not his own daughter, he did not care where she was. The ‘misguiding’ (as claimed by the CBI) could be attributed as his attempt to bridge the gap between Rahul and Indrani. He may have said it to pacify Rahul and prevent him from being angry with Indrani. Just because Peter (who was abroad at the time of the murder) spoke to his wife, that doesn’t make him a conspirator,” a defence lawyer argued.
He also said that Peter stood to gain nothing from Sheena’s murder and that he was co-operating with investigating agencies.