CBI moves HC after special court refuses to stay documentary series on Indrani Mukerjea | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

CBI moves HC after special court refuses to stay documentary series on Indrani Mukerjea

BySahyaja MS, Mumbai
Feb 22, 2024 07:54 AM IST

CBI raises concerns over potential influence on witnesses as Netflix documentary series on Indrani Mukerjea, accused in Sheena Bora murder case, faces legal scrutiny.

The release of a documentary series on Indrani Mukerjea, the prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, could influence witnesses who were yet to be examined, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Bombay high court on Wednesday.

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“Out of the 237 witnesses, only 89 have been examined so far. We are not saying that the series may never be released but it may be released after the conclusion of the trial,” advocate Shreeram Shirsat, appearing for the agency, said.

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The agency on Wednesday filed a writ petition in the HC, a day after a special CBI court rejected its application, refusing to stay the release of “The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth” on Netflix on February 23.

Shirsat cited past instances where stays were granted on the release of movies or publications due to pending trials, such as in the Aarushi and J Dey murder cases.

However, a division bench of justice Revati Mohite Dere and justice Manjusha Deshpande questioned the maintainability of writ petitions in such cases and sought clarification on the CBI’s apprehensions.

Advocate Ranjit Sangle, appearing on behalf of Mukerjea, contended that only two witnesses acted in the docu-series. One of them, Mekhail, has already been examined, while the other, Vidhie Mukerjea, is yet to be examined, he said.

Netflix, represented by senior advocate Ravi Kadam, argued that the petition itself is not maintainable since Netflix is a private entity, and no writ petition can be filed against it. He claimed that everything in the series is either drawn from interviews or from existing books about the case.

The court instructed both parties to provide information on whether any witnesses, who are yet to be examined, are featured in the series and scheduled further hearing for Thursday.

Mukerjea was arrested in 2015 in connection with the alleged kidnapping and murder of her daughter Sheena Bora in 2012. Mukerjea, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyamwar Rai are accused of strangling Sheena, daughter from her first partner, inside a car in Mumbai on April 24, 2012. The next day, they allegedly disposed of her body in a forest in the nearby Raigad district.

According to the CBI, Mukerjea killed Bora because she was furious over her relationship with Rahul Mukerjea, son of Mukerjea’s ex-husband and former media baron Peter Mukerjea, who too is an accused in the murder case. Mukerjea has, however, claimed that Sheena was not murdered but was alive and even said that she had in 2012 gone abroad for studies. The Supreme Court on May 18, 2022, granted her bail.

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