A day after his arrest, former media baron Peter Mukerjea, husband of prime accused Indrani Mukerjea in the Sheena Bora murder case, was today charged with murder and criminal conspiracy by CBI which said he had played an active role in the killing of his step-daughter.
The CBI, which arrested Peter yesterday in a sensational twist to the case shortly after it filed over a 1,000 page chargesheet, told the court of Metropolitan Magistrate that he was involved in conspiracy with his wife Indrani in the murder of her daughter from her first marriage.
The central probe gency, which was represented by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, also told the court that Peter was in continous conversation with Indrani prior, during and after the gruesome murder. There was a dispute between Sheena and Indrani, and Peter had acted as a mediator, Singh contended.
Peter played an active role in the commission of the crime and also misled his son Rahul to hide the fact that Sheena was murdered, Singh told the court of Mumbai Metropolitan Magistrate RV Adone.
Suggesting a financial angle to the murder of the 24-year-old in April 2012, the chargesheet said fear of Sheena inheriting the entire property of her and her husband in the event of the victim’s marriage to Peter’s son Rahul is said to be the prime motive for Indrani to do away with her daughter.
Indrani, who has a soft corner for Vidhie, her daughter with former husband Sanjeev Khanna, feared that the entire property might go to Sheena and Rahul if they were married, the chargesheet said, adding, “In this context, she planned a conspiracy with Khanna and her driver Shyam Rai to kill Sheena Bora.”
Singh submitted that Rahul and Sheena were about to get married and “After that she (Sheena) could have got a share of property. And they (CBI) are looking into this (angle).”
The probe agency also said that (when) Peter and Indrani returned separately (from the US) they were constantly in touch with each other, which was not normal at other times.
“Though Peter was abroad, telephone conversation during 2/3 days around the (date of the) crime lasted 20 to 25 minutes each time,” Singh told the court.
Also, Sheena’s mobile and ATM cards are missing, he told the court.
The agency told the court that Rahul had recorded his conversation with Peter in which his father told him that he has spoken to Sheena and she was in the US.
The CBI also sought 14 days of custody of Peter arguing he has “multiple bases” like Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong and abroad. The court, however, granted the agency the custody of Peter till November 23.
“Peter made no effort to trace Sheena’s whereabouts and misled Rahul”, Singh told the court.
While being taken out of the court, Indrani said she was innocent and was being “framed” in the murder of her daughter.
The CBI, which filed its chargesheet yesterday three months after Sheena’s remains were found in a forest near Mumbai in August this year, has charged Indrani, Khanna and Rai with criminal conspiracy to kidnap, murder, cheating, destruction of evidence, forgery and use of forged documents besides violation of provisions of Information Technology Act.
Sheena was allegedly murdered by her mother Indrani, Khanna and Rai in April 2012. Her body was found dumped in a forest in the neighbouring Raigad district.