MUMBAI: In a dramatic turn of events, the Maharashtra government on Friday decided to hand over the sensational Sheena Bora murder case, in which her mother and former media Mughal Indrani Mukerjea is the prime suspect, to CBI.
The decision has come a day after it became clear that the newly-appointed City Police Commissioner Ahmad Javed was known to Indrani and her husband Peter Mukerjea. Javed had invited the couple to his personal Eid party a couple of years ago.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi said that the case will be transferred to the CBI so that there would be no scope for interference by the state government or any of its officials in the investigation. He, however, denied that the decision was a fall out of the controversies over the government’s decision to remove the then Commissioner Rakesh Maria and replace him with Javed 22 days before Maria’s term ended.
“Every decision is a resultant of many inputs. We had asked the DGP to submit a status report that gives details on progress of the investigation. We had also asked his opinion on whether the investigation should be monitored by Maria or Javed. DGP Sanjeev Dayal has recommended that the case should be transferred to the CBI. I am in touch with the Union government officials for transfer of the case. However, it is the CBI’s prerogative to decide whether or not to take up the investigation,” Bakshi said.
He denied that the government had doubt over the police’s ability to complete the investigation. “It’s not question of someone’ ability. If anyone has doubt it is our duty to clear them.” He said that the police had almost completed the investigation into the murder angle and the motive behind the murder had been clearly established. “This case is not limited to murder only. Several economic issues related to the murder have been coming on forth. The media has created an impression that the government is trying to dilly dally and interfere in the investigation. Because of this perception we have taken a decision to hand over the case to the CBI based on the DGP’s report. We want to give a message that we don’t have any intention to interfere in the investigation,” Bakshi said.
He also revealed that Javed had no objection to the CBI investigation. “He had called me in the afternoon today. He said that there were stories floating in the media about his association with the Mukerjeas. He told me that it would not be wrong if the investigation was transferred to the CBI,” Bakshi said. He backed Javed on the issue of his familiarity with the Mukerjeas and claimed that he was not aware of Maria’s stand not to investigate the case.
He said that Dayal, in his report, had mentioned that there was no possibility of immediate arrest in his case. “Of course, further investigation will throw a light on whether any arrest was necessary in the case. Had we roped in the Economic Offences Wing to investigate the money transactions, the investigation would have scattered into pieces. As the CBI is capable of investigating the murder as well as the money trail, the investigation will be completed under one roof,” he said. Bakshi also said that the motive behind Sheena’s murder was a mix of personal and professional. He also mentioned that he had never seen a Commissioner (Maria) personally questioning an accused, in his 34-year career as a bureaucrat. “It is my observation. I don’t have any opinion whether it’s right or wrong.”