Peter Mukerjea had along with his wife Indrani Mukerjea conspired to kill her daughter Sheena Bora as they were not happy with her relationship with Peter’s son Rahul, the CBI told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday while opposing the former media baron’s bail plea.
The agency also said that probe in the case was still on and it is at a crucial stage, and hence releasing Peter on bail would be “prejudicial” and would hamper the case.
“Peter Mukerjea along with the other accused entered into criminal conspiracy to commit the heinous crime with a cool mind, in a premeditated and planned manner. Both Indrani and Peter were not happy with the love affair of Sheena and Rahul Mukerjea,” the agency said in its affidavit.
The agency submitted its affidavit before Justice P N Deshmukh on Tuesday while opposing Peter’s bail plea.
Justice Deshmukh later posted the plea for next hearing on July 27.
Peter, who was arrested by CBI on November 19 last year for his alleged involvement in Sheena’s murder, had approached the high court seeking bail after the sessions court rejected his plea.
In his bail plea, he claimed that there is nothing incriminating against him in the CBI charge sheet.
Peter is the fourth accused to be arrested in the murder case, along with wife Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna, and her former driver Shyamvar Rai.
Striking down Peter’s earlier claims that he had no problem with the relationship between Rahul and Sheena, the CBI said, “Peter too was not happy with the love affair. In 2009, both Peter and Indrani with the help of a friend separated Rahul and Sheena.”
To corroborate this claim, the CBI is relying on an email sent by Rahul to his father on May 28, 2012, in which Rahul mentions that Peter separated him and Sheena.
The probe agency further relied on an email sent by Peter to Sheena on April 3, 2011, stating that he expected Rahul to start earning independently and make a decent living but instead he got into a relationship.
“Peter Mukerjea had even told his friend that the relation between Rahul and Sheena was not ‘correct’. It clearly reflects that both Peter and Indrani were not happy with the relationship and tried to separate them. When their efforts to do so did not work, they (Peter and Indrani) hatched the conspiracy to murder Sheena,” the CBI said.
The agency further claimed that Peter was in touch with all the accused prior to the murder, the day on which the murder took place and even after that.
“On April 24, 2012, when Indrani messaged Sheena asking her to meet her, Indrani was in constant touch with Peter. After sending messages to Sheena, Indrani used to call Peter and speak at length. Even on the day when Indrani and Rai went to Raigad to dispose of Sheena’s body, Peter and Indrani were in constant touch,” the CBI affidavit said.
The agency further said that when Rahul used to ask Peter about Sheena’s whereabouts after she disappeared without informing, Peter along with Indrani intentionally started misleading him.
The CBI also claimed that when Indrani sent a mail to Rahul from a fake ID created by her in the name of Sheena, Peter was with her and was aware about the mail.
“Letters Rogatory (LRs) have been sent to three countries – Hong Kong, Singapore and USA – seeking financial information about the Mukerjeas. Replies to the LRs are awaited. Sufficient evidence in the form of oral, documentary and articles have come on record to prove allegations against Peter,” the CBI said in the affidavit.
The probing agency said that Peter is an influential person and may tamper with the evidence and influence the witnesses. “There is also serious apprehension that Peter will abscond as he is British national,” it said.
According to the prosecution, Sheena was murdered on April 24, 2012, but the crime came to light after the arrest of Rai in another case in August 2015. Following this, Indrani and Sanjeev were also arrested in August last.
According to prosecution, Indrani, Sanjeev and Rai allegedly strangled Sheena (24), Indrani’s daughter from an earlier relationship, inside a car in April, 2012.
Sheena’s body was found in a forest in Raigad. The crime, which came to light in August last year, is allegedly linked to certain financial dealings.
While Peter and Khanna are lodged in Arthur Road prison, Indrani (43) is in Byculla womens’ jail in Mumbai.
Rai was the first accused to be arrested in the case in August 2015, taking the lid off the murder, after he was picked up in connection with an arms case.
The trial court recently allowed Rai to turn approver in the case and become a prosecution witness.