A special CBI court on Monday accepted the plea of Shyamvar Rai — former driver of Indrani Mukerjea — and made him an approver in the Sheena Bora murder case.
Rai, whose arrest last year led the police to unearth Sheena’s murder, had on May 11 told a special CBI court that he wants to turn approver in the case and sought pardon. Rai had, in the first week of May, forwarded a two-page letter to the special CBI court stating his intention to reveal details of how Sheena was murdered.
On April 24, 2012, Indrani, Khanna and Rai had allegedly strangulated Sheena, and later disposed of her body in a thickly forested area in Gagode village of Raigad district, according to the Khar police. The murder came to light after Rai’s arrest by the Khar police in an Arms Act case. Indrani was arrested on August 25 last year. The CBI arrested Peter a few months later.
The case was initially probed by the Khar police, but after a lot of controversies during investigations, it was transferred to the CBI on the request of the Maharashtra government.
THE CASE SO FAR
Aug 21, 2015: The Khar police arrest Shyamwar Rai, driver of INX Media co-founder Indrani Mukerjea, for illegal possession of a weapon. Rai leads the police to the spot in Raigad, where the body of Sheena Bora, then believed to be Indrani’s sister, was set on fire
Aug 26: The police confirm that Sheena was Indrani’s daughter and that she was strangled and her body was burnt using petrol to prevent identification. Khanna is arrested from Kolkata. The police trace Peter Mukerjea’s son Rahul, who was engaged to Sheena, and question him
Aug 27: Then police commissioner Rakesh Maria, joint commissioner of police (law and order) Deven Bharti and other senior officials question the accused at the Khar police station for more than nine hours. The police claim Indrani sent letters on Sheena’s behalf and forged her signature to prove she was alive and had moved to the US. Police teams are sent to Kolkata and Guwahati for further investigation
Aug 28: Khanna is brought to the city, produced in court and remanded in police custody till August 31. The lapses by the Raigad police come to the fore. Sheena’s brother Mikhail, too, is brought to Mumbai. The samples from the spot are sent to the forensic laboratory in Kalina
Sept 17: Police commissioner Ahmad Javed admits he knew Indrani socially and he had not told the state government about it during his appointment. Then DGP Sanjeev Dayal recommends the case be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
Sept 18: The murder case probe is transferred to the CBI
Oct 2: Indrani collapses in jail
Oct 19: Rai files an application claiming he wants to tell the truth to the court
Nov 3: Indrani agrees to give her voice sample
Nov 8: Rai’s statement is recorded before the magistrate court
Nov 19: The CBI files its charge sheet against the three accused, alleges Peter Mukerjea, too, was part of the conspiracy. Peter is arrested
Nov 20: Peter is remanded in CBI custody till November 26
Nov 26: Peter is remanded in CBI custody for four days, after the central agency tells the court that Peter and Indrani siphoned off nearly Rs900 crore to bank accounts in Singapore
Nov 28: Peter is subjected to polygraphy test
Nov 30: The special magistrate court of the CBI remands Peter in one-day police custody
Nov 31: Peter has been lodged in the Arthur Road jail since then
January 4, 2016: Peter moves a bail application saying he had no knowledge of the murder
Jan 16: The CBI files its reply to the application stating that during her interrogation on December 15, Indrani has alleged she had told Peter about the murder
Feb 5: Indrani files for bail on grounds of poor health
Feb 12: Peter’s bail application is rejected
April 1: Indrani’s bail application is rejected
May 23: Peter’s bail plea rejected again