The twists and turns in the Sheena Bora murder case continued on Monday with a Mumbai magistrate deciding to extend the police custody of all three accused till September 5. Indrani Mukerjea's lawyer also alleged that the former TV executive was beaten up in custody.
Indrani, her former driver Shyam Rai and ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna were present at the hearing. The police have also added fresh 'attempt to murder' charges against the accused based on the claim of Indrani's son Mikhail who alleged that she made four attempts on his life. Even on the day that Sheena was murdered, Mikhail has told the police that he was allegedly given a spiked drink by Indrani, possibly as part of a plot to murder him as well, but he managed to escape.
The three accused were produced before the Bandra Magistrate's Court at around 2:45 pm, ANI reported.
A fresh charge of attempt to murder (Section 307) has been added by the prosecution against Indrani. Earlier, Indrani's counsel had complained to Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria that his officers were resorting to pressure tactics to extract a confession from her.
The counsel said that they was not allowed to meet their client after she was arrested and that Indrani's face was bruised and swollen. The lawyers also alleged that the Mumbai police had beaten her up in custody, according to an ANI report.
TV channels reported that Indrani, who had remained stoic throughout the hearing, had a spell of dizziness and fainted in court. She was allowed to meet Vidhie, her daughter from her second husband and co-accused Khanna, for a few minutes and cried inconsolably, reported Times Now.
There were reports that Indrani had also allegedly hired a Mumbai-based contract killer to kill her son Mikhail in August 2014.
The Times of India reported that it was Indrani's fourth attempt to kill Mikhail who is a son from her first husband Siddhartha Das. He had also alleged that Indrani had sent him to a Pune-based mental hospital in the guise of getting him rehabilitated for his drug habit.
Officials in the investigating team, speaking on condition of anonymity, told PTI that Indrani and Khanna had called Mikhail to Mumbai in the last week of April in 2012 and kept him at a hotel at Worli. Mukherjea and Khanna had called him to Mumbai for settling some family issues and served him a soft drink which was laced with sleeping medicines.
Leaving him at the hotel, Mukherjea, Khanna and driver Shyam Rai allegedly murdered Sheena on April 24, the officials said, adding that when the trio returned, Mikhail had fled and left Mumbai for Guwahati.
Police also seized a suitcase that was purportedly meant for packing the body of Mikhail, even as key accused Khanna and the driver were taken to the spot to re-create the crime scene.
The seizure of the suitcase from residential premises of Indrani and Peter in Mumbai's Worli area apparently lends credence to Mikail's claim about his mother's plan to kill him and pack his body parts but there was no police confirmation of this theory. PTI claimed that during sustained interrogation here yesterday, Indrani and Sanjeev had blamed each other for the crime.
Indrani accused Khanna of committing the murder and dragging her into the crime. However, he said he only assisted Indrani as she had promised to help him financially.