Indrani Mukerjea sent back to jail, says no obection to CBI quizzing
Mumbai: Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, was today discharged from JJ Hospital, where she was under treatment since Friday after she had collapsed and lost consciousness, and shifted back to jail following improvement in her condition.
"Indrani Mukerjea has been discharged from the hospital and sent back to jail," T P Lahane, JJ Hospital Dean, told PTI.
Indrani also informed a local court through her lawyer that she has no objection to being questioned by the CBI in jail.
A medical report was also submitted by the hospital to the court.
Earlier in the day Lahane had said, "Indrani is fully conscious and talking to doctors. A panel of doctors involved in her treatment will decide when to allow police authorities to record her statement." He said her vital parameters are fine and she is responding to medications.
The hospital authorities submitted Indrani's medical report in a sealed-cover to the court, which is likely to pass an order tomorrow on the permission sought by her lawyer to meet her.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Magistrate's court reserved till tomorrow its order on the CBI plea seeking permission to interrogate Indrani and other two accused in the Sheena murder case her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Syhamvar Rai.
Her lawyer told the court she does not have any objection to being quizzed by the CBI, which has taken over the case from Mumbai police.
"The order will be passed tomorrow," said R V Adone, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Esplanade court.
Seeking permission to quiz the accused, the CBI, which moved its application yesterday, told the court it has just taken over the investigation from Mumbai Police which is why interrogation of the trio was necessary.
The central agency also told the court that if the permission for interrogation is not granted, the agency would have to rely on the probe conducted by the Mumbai police.
The agency had yesterday sought at least three weeks to interrogate the accused in jail.
Indrani's lawyer Gunjan Mangala told the court she does not have any objection to her client being interrogated by CBI investigators in the jail.
43-year-old Indrani, wife of former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea, was rushed to the JJ hospital on Friday after collapsing in Byculla prison due to suspected overdose of anti-depressant pills.
Khanna's lawyer Shreyansh Mithare too said he is not opposed to interrogation if there is any new ground, but Rai's counsel Shrinivas Bhave objected to the CBI plea, contending the investigation in the case was over.
Yesterday, the court had extended the judicial custody of all the accused till 19 October. After Indrani's hospitalisation, conflicting reports had emerged on suspected drug overdose in prison.
While one report showed she had overdosed on anti-depressant pills, the other found no such thing.
After her hospitalisation, the government had ordered a probe by IG (Prison) to acertain the circumstances leading to it.
The report of the probe is expected by the end of this week.
A senior Home Department official said the probe will also try to ascertain if she was poisoned through "external factors".
"Prima facie it seems unlikely that she stored the drugs for so many days and then ate all of it at one go. Also, we do not see any motive for a prison official to have helped her attempt suicide," the official, privy to the probe said on condition of anonymity.
Indrani and two other accused were arrested on the charge of murdering her daughter and disposing of the body in a forest in Raigad district, about 84 km from here, in April 2012.
Police had exhumed remains of a body and claimed digital superimposition of the profile of Sheena had matched with the skull recovered from the forest.
Mumbai police had also grilled Peter Mukerjea several times but he has not been made an accused in the case.
Others questioned in connection with the case include Peter's son Rahul Mukerjea and Vidhie, daughter of Indrani and Sanjeev Khanna, apart from Siddharth Das, biological father of Sheena.
The case, after witnessing several twists and turns since it came to light in August, was transferred to the CBI by the Maharashtra Government last month, after much dithering 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 government had defended the decision of handing over the probe to the central agency, contending it was warranted due to multiple angles to the case, including possible monetary motives.