Sheena Bora Murder Case: Rai Turns Approver, But Loose Ends Remain
The Quint has accessed call data records to unravel details in the Sheena Bora murder case.
Nine months after the CBI took over the Sheena Bora murder case from Mumbai Police, fresh evidence has emerged, indicating prime-accused Indrani Mukerjea was with her daughter, inside or just outside a jewellery store at the Turner Road and Waterfield Road crossing in Bandra, Mumbai at 7.16 pm on 24 April 2012 – the day Sheena was allegedly strangled to death inside a car at Pali Hill.
The question that this fact throws up is whether Indrani’s driver Shyamwar Rai (a co-accused in the murder and now approver) has corroborated it in his statement made under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which has so far been withheld by the CBI.
They pleaded that the agency is yet to take a decision on including it among all documents submitted to the sessions court.
The Call Data Records
On 24 April, 2012, after meeting Sheena at 6.23 pm, Indrani and her daughter entered Amarsons store in Bandra and purchased a saree, according to call data records (CDR) analysed by The Quint.
The CDR details, among other circumstantial evidence, contradicts the CBI, as well as the Mumbai Police’s investigations which suggest that Sheena was murdered inside a car in Pali Hill between 6.30 and 7.30 pm.
The Mumbai Police had claimed that she was strangled to death by Indrani, along with her first husband, Kolkata-based Sanjeev Khanna, and driver Shyamwar Rai.
But CDR details suggest that Sheena called Indrani at 6.23 pm followed by a call from Rai a few seconds later. The CBI claim was that immediately after taking the rear seat of the vehicle, Sheena was given a bottle of water laced with a sedative.
Once the sedative set in, she was murdered by Indrani, with Khanna and Rai’s help. After the murder, Khanna walked away from the spot.
Where Details Get Murky
A month or so after his arrest, Rai (he was picked up by Mumbai Police on the charge of possessing an unlicensed gun on 19 August, 2012, two days before he was officially shown to have been arrested) claimed that he wanted to tell the “truth”.
His statement was recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC in the presence of a magistrate. But the CBI sought to delay and stall its submission, besides claiming in each court appearance of the accused that “investigation is continuing.”
Barring the arrest of Indrani’s husband, former Star TV CEO Peter Mukerjea, in November last year, the CBI has made little progress with the investigation. Yet analysis of the circumstantial evidence suggests that Sheena’s murder could have taken place at one of the two apartments the Mukerjeas own at Marlow in Worli.
The agency has also avoided investigating certain senior Mumbai Police officers, including Joint Commissioner (Law and Order) Deven Bharti, whose statements to the CBI are incomplete – especially on the point of his long association with the Mukerjeas, and Sohel Buddha.
The Quint had previously reported, based on a deeper analysis of Indrani and Rai’s CDRs, that Sheena was perhaps murdered in the Mukerjeas’ Marlow flat around 10 pm, when her brother Mikhail was present.
The CBI’s findings regarding the motive are shaky. The Quint has revealed in the past that the investigating agency relied on contradictory statements made by certain witnesses, including Indrani’s private secretary Kajal Sharma and a guard at Marlow, to highlight the sequence of events leading to the murder.
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