Mumbai: Former media head Indrani Mukherjea, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and trusted driver Shyamvar Rai were produced in a Mumbai court Saturday afternoon as cops continued to investigate their alleged roles in the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora in April, 2012.
Bandra Judge S M Chandagade extended Indrani’s police reman till September 7, Monday.
Indrani’s lawyer Gunjan Mangla moved court complaining that the police has stopped them from meeting Indrani in private. The magistrate set up five minutes for Indrani and her lawyers in the court and it was decided that the lawyers could meet Indrani during her fresh remand. The judge also said they could meet at a distance from police personnel, within eyesight but out of earshot.
Public prosecutor Vaibhav Bagade sought a longer remand of the three accused on grounds that the police needed to find out why Indrani chose Raigad forests as the spot to dump the body. She had scouted different parts of the state for the same, he said. He also told the court that 14 credit cards were used to purchase accessories for the murder. The police needed to question Indrani about those too, he said.
The police have contended that there were several transactions between Indrani and Khanna which needed further investigation as “financial concerns” was an overwhelming motive behind the crime.
The defence put up a valiant front telling the judge that the accused were being treated like they were already guilty. “It is as if they want a particular statement out of Indrani and she is being treated like a hardened criminal,” her lawyers said, asking, “Are the police trying to create evidence?”
The defence lawyer also said the police had already questioned Indrani for nearly 200 hours. “No further custody is needed to check bank accounts and transactions,” she told the court.
Police claim both Indrani and Sanjeev Khanna had confessed to the crime. Also on the investigation radar at the moment is Indrani’s first live-in partner and father of Sheena and Mikhail, Siddhartha Das.
Mikhail has told police that he was in Mumbai on the day of the murder and that his mother also wanted to bump him off by spiking his drink. He managed to escape that day.
Indrani’s present husband, former STAR India chief Peter Mukerjea has also been thoroughly grilled by the Mumbai police.