Sessions court judge HS Mahajan asked two constables to sit between Indrani, her husband Peter Mukerjea and ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, as the trial in the Sheena Bora murder case began before the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Thursday.
The measure was taken to ensure they do not get into a verbal altercation within the court, which reportedly has happened on some occasions.
The proceedings then began with the prosecution examining Khar police officer Ganesh Dalvi, who had arrested accused-turned-approver Shyamwar Rai with a pistol and three live rounds near Amrut building in Khar on August 21, 2015. Rai’s arrest in the arms case had led to the detection of Sheena Bora’s murder.
Dalvi’s deposition could not be completed when defence lawyers Shrikant Shivde appearing for Peter Mukerjea took objection when Dalvi started to mention Rai’s confession about the murder to police officials. The objection was supported by Indrani’s lawyer Sudeep Pasbola, and Khanna’s lawyers Niranjan Mundargi and Shreyansh Mithare.
Public prosecutor Bharat Badami, however, argued that the admissibility could be decided at a later stage and that the court should allow the deposition to continue. The court rejected the objection raised by the defense and held that the part of the deposition would be admissible but the police officer would not be allowed to name person. The defense, which still contested the court’s decision, sought two weeks’ time to approach the Bombay high court, and the case was adjourned till March 16.
Dalvi, in his deposition, narrated how Rai was arrested. He told the court that on that day Rai was on day duty and by evening they had gone for patrolling. “While patrolling when we reached at Amrut building at Carter Road, one person started running away. We therefore caught him,” Dalvi told the court in Marathi. The man was later identified as Rai and police had recovered a pistol of 7.63 mm with 3 live cartridges from him.
Dalvi later said that when they were interrogating Rai, he told the police that he wants to make a confession and that’s when the cops called ‘pancha’ witnesses. But when Dalvi was just about to say what Rai had said in his confession to the police, the defense raised an objected to the deposition.
Rai had, in his alleged confession before the police, said that he along with Indrani and Khanna had kidnapped Sheena in 2012 and killed her and later they disposed off her body in Pen village. Rai had also agreed to show the place where the body had been dumped.