Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday framed charges against Indrani Mukerjea, her husband Peter Mukerjea and former husband Sanjeev Khanna in Sheena Bora murder case.
The court charged Indrani and Peter Mukerjea, and Indrani’s ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna with murder and criminal conspiracy.
Arguments for and against framing of charges were heard by the court of Judge HS Majahan. All the three accused pleaded not guilty and the trial in the case will begin from February 1.
All the three accused were charged under IPC sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 364 (kidnapping), 302 (murder), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 203 (giving false information in respect of an offence) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence).
Additionally, Indrani and Sanjeev were charged under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) for plotting to kill her son and Sheena’s brother Mikhail Bora.
Mikhail had earlier alleged that Indrani had spiked his drink on the same day when Sheena was killed.
The sections pertaining to forgery and Section 328 on causing grievous injury using poison were dropped by the court.
The complex web of lies and deceit came to light after police arrested Shyamvar Rai, the driver of INX Media co-founder Indrani on August 21, 2015, for illegal possession of a weapon.
The accused trio pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, and the matter was posted for next hearing on February 1 when the trial will start.
Special Public Prosecutor in the case, eminent criminal lawyer Ujjwal Nikam, said the minimum punishment in this case is life imprisonment and the next procedure for the prosecution would be to prove its charges against the accused.
Indrani and her ex-husband Khanna were arrested in August 2015 along with her former driver Shyamvar Rai, while Indrani’s present husband Peter Mukerjea was nabbed in November that year.
Indrani Mukerjea is accused of strangling Sheena in April 2012, inside a car just outside Mumbai, with help from her ex-husband and driver.
The half-burnt body was found in 2015 from the forests near Mumbai.
Days later in August that year, Indrani Mukerjea was arrested.
The lawyers of both Indrani and Peter Mukherjea have argued that none of the charges can be proved by the CBI.
Sheena was Indrani’s daughter from her first marriage. She also has a son Mikhail, who also accuse Indrani of trying to poison him during a visit to Mumbai.
Since her marriage with Peter, Indrani had introduced Sheena as her sister to everyone.
Both Indrani and Peter were said to be against Sheena’s affair with Rahul, Peter’s son from an earlier marriage, and is believed to be the motive for the murder.