“I am very happy,” said Mukherjea.
Mukherjea has been released on bail after spending 6.5 years in jail. She was granted bail on Wednesday in compliance of the Supreme Court’s verdict.
“We are granting bail to Indrani Mukerjea. 6.5 years is too long a time,” the Supreme Court ruled today.
The top court said that the former media executive has already spent 6.5 years in jail while the trial is not going to end anytime soon.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, B R Gavai and A S Bopanna ruled to grant Mukherjea bail in a special leave petition challenging the Bombay High Court’s order in November 2021 rejecting her bail plea.
Indrani Mukerjea had to face trial in the murder of Sheena Bora in 2012, after which a sensational case came before the country, which saw many twists. She was arrested in 2015 for the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora from her first marriage with the help of her driver Shyamvar Rai and an ex-husband, Sanjeev Khanna.
Investigators said Indrani was upset over her daughter’s relationship with her husband Peter Mukerjea’s son Rahul Mukerjea.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Indrani Mukerjea, lodged in Byculla Women’s Jail in Mumbai. The special CBI court had denied him bail several times.
The Supreme Court said she was entitled to bail, as she had “already spent a lot of time” in jail.
“The allegation against the petitioner is that he had planned the murder in view of his daughter’s live-in relationship with Rahul Mukerjea, who was the son of Peter Mukerjea and his ex-wife,” the Supreme Court said.
The bench also included Justices BR Gavai and AS Bopanna.
He said, “We are not commenting on the merits of the case. Even though 50 per cent witnesses have been given by the prosecution, the trial will not be over soon. He will be released on bail subject to the satisfaction of the trial court. The same Conditions The charge leveled against Peter Mukerjea will also be leveled against him.”
Peter Mukerjea (who was arrested months later for helping Indrani) was granted bail in 2020. The judges said it was a matter of circumstantial evidence.
Sheena Bora was missing for three years after the murder. Indrani tells friends that Sheena (whom she always told her sister)- has gone to America.
Indrani Mukerjea’s half-burnt body, arrested in a separate case, was dug up from a forest near Mumbai after her driver gave a statement to the police. He alleged that Sheena Bora was strangled inside the car by her mother.
Around 60 witnesses have recorded their statements in the trial that began in 2017. While in prison, Indrani and Peter Mukerjea ended their 17-year relationship and were divorced in 2019.
Earlier this year, Indrani Mukerjea claimed that Sheena Bora was alive and was seen by a fellow prisoner in Srinagar. The CBI had dismissed that claim as “a figment of his imagination” and next to impossible.
The CBI recently told a special court in Mumbai that its investigation into the 2012 murder was over.
first published:May 20, 2022, 5:57 p.m.