MUMBAI: A special CBI court on Tuesday charged Indrani Mukerjea, her husband Peter Mukerjea and former husband Sanjeev Khanna with murdering her daughter Sheena Bora, clearing the decks for commencement of trial in the sensational case from February 1. Indrani expressed her wish to obtain divorce from Peter to which the judge said was a matter to be decided between them and the court has nothing to do with it. All the accused were charged with IPC sections 120(b) (conspiracy), 302 (murder) and other offences, after which judge HS Mahajan fixed February 1 as the date for the trial to commence.
All three accused pleaded "not guilty" to the charges, which were explained to them individually, being called to the box one by one.
The prosecution case was that Sheena was murdered on April 24, 2012, and her body burnt and disposed of at a forest in nearby Raigad district the next day.
All the three accused were charged under IPC sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 364 (kidnapping), 302 (murder), 203 (giving false information in respect of an offence) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence).
Additionally, Indrani and Sanjeev were charged under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 120(b) (conspiracy) for plotting to kill her son and Sheena's brother Mikhail Bora.
Mikhail had earlier alleged that Indrani had spiked his drink on the same day when Sheena was killed.
Besides, Indrani was also charged under IPC section 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record).
Indrani was arrested in August 2015. Subsequently, others -- Peter, Sanjeev Khanna and her driver Shyamver Rai -- were also taken into custody.
Rai later turned approver in the case and disclosed to CBI how the crime was committed by the accused.
All the three accused were present in the court on Tuesday. They sat separately in the dock and were seen talking to their lawyers outside the court.
CBI, on December 19 had started arguments on framing of charges in the case, saying it was her relationship with Rahul, Peter's son from an earlier marriage, that led to Sheena's murder. The case, initially investigated by Mumbai police under its then chief Rakesh Maria, was later transferred to the CBI
by the Maharashtra government to ensure that the probe was carried out without any prejudice or interference.