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Sheena case: Indrani’s judicial custody extended till Oct 19

Indrani Mukerjea

Mumbai :  The judicial custody of Indrani Mukherjea, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyam Rai was today extended by a local magistrate till October 19 in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case.

While Khanna and Rai were produced before Magistrate M R Natu at the Esplanade court here via video-conferencing, jail officials sent Indrani’s warrant to the court in view of her hospitalisation at state-run JJ, where she was admitted on Friday in an unconscious condition after she allegedly overdosed on anti-depressant pills.

The 43-year-old media magnate regained consciousness yesterday and is now “out of danger”. She may be shifted back to the Byculla jail in a couple of days.

Seeking extension of the judicial custody of all the three accused, CBI–which is now probing the sensational murder case–told the court that they would need further remand for further investigations as it was transferred to them recently, Defence advocate Shreyansh Mithare told PTI.

This is the first time that a Mumbai court has extended the trio’s custody after the case was transferred to the central agency in mid-September.

On September 7, a fortnight after their arrest and prolonged interrogation, the court had remanded Indrani and her driver Shyam Rai to judicial custody till September 21, which was later extended till October 5.

A day after on September 8, Khanna too was remanded in judicial custody.

Indrani, Khanna and Rai have been arrested on the charge of murdering Sheena and disposing of her body in a Raigad forest in April 2012.

The police had exhumed remains of a body from Raigad forest and later claimed that digital superimposition of the profile of Sheena had matched with the skull recovered from the forest.

The police have also extensively grilled Indrani’s husband Peter Mukerjea, though he is not an accused in the case. Others questioned in connection with the case include Peter’s son Rahul Mukherjea and Vidhie, daughter of Indrani and Sanjeev Khanna.

The police have also questioned Siddharth Das, biological father of Sheena and Mikhail Bora.

24-year-old Sheena was allegedly strangled in a car, then her body was burnt and dumped at a forest in Raigad, about 84 kms from Mumbai.

Last month, the Maharashtra government decided to transfer the Sheena Bora murder probe to CBI after days of uncertainty on the supervisory role of former Mumbai police chief Rakesh Maria, who was shunted in the midst of the inquiry that he had helmed proactively.

The decision for a probe free from “prejudices” was announced at a press conference on September 18 by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi who said that financial angle of the case has also been taken into account in transferring the probe to the central investigation agency. Ahmad Javed, a DG-rank officer, was posted in place of Maria, who was promoted as DG (Home Guards).

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