Former media baron Peter Mukerjea, accused with his wife Indrani in the murder of his step-daughter Sheena Bora, has moved the Bombay high court challenging the order of the special CBI court hearing the case. The CBI court had allowed the Khar police officer who arrested Shyamwar Rai, Indrani’s former driver and co-accused, to depose on Rai’s confession to the police after his arrest.
It was Rai’s arrest in August 2015 that blew the lid off Sheena’s murder. Detained by the Khar police for possession of an unlicensed pistol, he allegedly confessed during interrogation that Indrani and her ex-huband Sanjeev Khanna had murdered Sheena in 2012.
During the trial, the prosecution had called Ganesh Dalvi, the officer who arrested and interrogated Rai, as its first witness. He began to narrate the sequence of events but when the prosecution asked him what Rai had said during his interrogation the defence objected claiming that any statement Rai had made to the police officer was inadmissible. The special CBI court, however, permitted the prosecution to question the officer about Rai’s interrogation. It was this decision that prompted Peter to file a petition in the high court on Friday.
In his petition Peter alleged that “the special judge lost sight of the fact that prosecution in the present case is presenting the said Shyamwar Rai as a star witness as he has been declared as approver. In wake of the said scenario, if the so-called confession is allowed to be brought on record through the prosecution witness 1 (police officer Dalvi), the same shall cause tremendous prejudice to the accused”. He added that were Dalvi allowed to depose on Rai’s confession, the defense would have to cross-examine the officer and “reveal their strategy of defense much before the star witness is brought in the box”. Peter’s petition also mentioned that Rai gave the alleged confession while in custody for a different offence. The petition is likely to come up for hearing this week.