MUMBAI: Former media baron Peter Mukerjea's lawyer today told the Bombay High Court that his client never objected to the relations between his son Rahul and Sheena Bora, his wife Indrani's daughter from earlier relationship.
Only Indrani, the main accused in Sheena murder case, was opposed to this relationship, said advocate Aabad Ponda, seeking bail for Peter.
Arguing before Justice N W Sambre, Ponda said Peter was not aware of any conspiracy allegedly hatched by Indrani, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and her driver Shyamwar Rai to kill Sheena.
Peter, arrested by CBI in the case last November, has moved the HC for bail after the sessions court rejected his plea.
CBI has contended that Peter, with Indrani and Sanjeev Khanna, entered into a criminal conspiracy to kill Sheena as they were opposed to her relationship with Peter's son Rahul.
"Peter was not against Rahul and Sheena's relationship. Indrani was against the relationhip and in fact Peter and Indrani had frequent quarrels over this. Peter was only against Rahul and Sheena living together without getting married and with no job. Peter objected only to them living together in 2007 and he separated them," Ponda argued.
He claimed that when Peter came to know in 2011 that Rahul and Sheena had got engaged, he sent an SMS to his son from his driver's phone congratulating him and giving them his blessings.
"He did not have any hatred towards Sheena. The only fault of Peter was that he obeyed everything Indrani told him which is why he is in jail now. When Indrani told Peter to stop talking to Rahul he agreed. But he was not aware of what conspiracy Indrani was hatching," Ponda said.
Citing confessional statement of the driver Rai, Ponda said, "The statement clearly says Indrani wanted to kill both Sheena and Mikhail Bora as they were both threatening to reveal to everyone that they were her children and not siblings as she had claimed and they demanded money from her."
Ponda claimed that Rai's statement showed that Indrani wanted to murder Sheena and Mikhail for property and other reasons, and not because of Sheena's relations with Rahul.
Justice Sambre will continue to hear the bail plea tomorrow. Meanwhile, another judge of the high court today directed CBI to file its reply to a petition filed by Peter seeking copy of the statement of an unnamed witness which is part of the supplementary charge sheet.
Justice Revati Mohite-Dere sought to know from CBI why it was not ready to share the statement with the accused, and posted the petition for arguments on November 17. The court said pending hearing of this petition, the agency shall not proceed with arguments on framing of charges against the accused before the trial court.
The special CBI court today extended the judicial custody of the three accused -- Peter, Indrani and Sanjeev -- till November 29. According to the prosecution, Sheena was murdered on April 24, 2012, but the crime came to light after the arrest of Rai in another case in August 2015.