Sheena Bora murder: Peter Mukerjea claims CBI erred in charging him
Peter’s counsel Abad Ponda argued that the CBI had no direct evidence against him and was instead relying upon just two things to create a chain of circumstantial evidence — “motive, and phone calls between him and Indrani.”mumbai Updated: Nov 16, 2016 00:28 IST
Former media baron Peter Mukerjea told the Bombay high court on Tuesday that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had erred in charging him for his step-daughter Sheena Bora’s murder. Through his advocate, who concluded arguments over his bail plea, Peter claimed that before his wife Indrani’s arrest, he had “no idea that Sheena was dead.”
Peter’s counsel Abad Ponda argued that the CBI had no direct evidence against him and was instead relying upon just two things to create a chain of circumstantial evidence — “motive, and phone calls between him and Indrani.”
Ponda argued that the motive that the CBI had attributed to Peter — that he did not approve of the relationship between his son Rahul and Sheena — was not correct. Peter had only objected to Rahul and Sheena living together in Mumbai considering their young age, claimed his advocate.
Also, the frequent phone calls between Peter and Indrani, Ponda argued, were not unusual considering that they were “husband and wife and were in two separate countries at the time.” He also said that the CBI had no transcripts for these phone calls.
“If a bunch of phone calls can be used as incriminating evidence then several others who were in touch with Indrani, including joint police commissioner Deven Bharti, should be made co-accused in the case,” he argued.
The advocate also insisted that the phone calls and emails exchanged among Peter, Indrani, and Rahul must be considered in “totality” and urged the court to consider his argument that in all of this, Indrani was the only one who knew “the truth about Sheena,” and that “Peter had simply been henpecked and was foolish to believe everything that Indrani told him and took her word that Sheena was alive.”
Ponda also argued that besides the murder charge, Peter had also been booked by the CBI for destruction of evidence, which is a bailable offence, and urged the court to grant him bail.
On Wednesday, the CBI is likely to argue against Peter’s plea in the high court. Earlier, during the hearing, Justice NW Sambre, who was presiding over the plea, had suggested that Peter take his bail plea to the sessions court in light of the CBI having filed additional information through its supplementary chargesheet.
Ponda however, urged Justice Sambre to grant him a hearing saying that the sessions court had already rejected the bail plea twice and that it was unlikely that his plea would be allowed on the third hearing especially since the CBI claimed to have produced additional incriminating information against Peter in the supplementary chargesheet.
According to the CBI, Indrani, along with her driver and her ex-husband, had strangulated Sheena Bora on April 24, 2012. While Peter was in the United Kingdom at the time, the CBI said that he “had knowledge” of the incident and that he had “conspired with Indrani” in the crime.
First Published: Nov 16, 2016 00:26 IST