MUMBAI— In a new twist, the Maharashtra Government on Friday decided to hand over the sensational Sheena Bora murder case to the CBI to ensure that investigation is carried out without any prejudice or interference.
The decision was announced at a press meet by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi, after 10 days of flip-flop over the supervisory role of former Mumbai police chief Rakesh Maria, who was unceremoniously removed from the post on September 8 and was replaced by Ahmad Javed.
"Formalities have been completed. We have contacted the Central Government officials. The decision of the Centre will be accepted by the state," Bakshi said.
Bakshi said there could be economic links to the murder and hence a complete and detailed probe was needed.
However, it is now for the Centre to accept the state government's request and give the nod before they can finally hand over all the papers to the CBI.
Among the reasons for the Mumbai police to be taken off the case, Bakshi said, are allegations that Police Chief Ahmed Javed is "close to" Peter Mukerjea.
Mukerjea's wife, Indrani Mukerjea, was arrested late last month on charges of killing Sheena Bora in 2012.
"This decision will ensure that no state government officer will be linked to the probe," KP Bakshi said, slamming certain sections of the media for intentionally conveying an impression that the state government was interfering with the investigations.
The senior state government official once again denied that the transfer of former Mumbai police chief Rakesh Maria was linked to the murder probe.
Transfer of Maria has left a question mark over his continued role in the probe.
Though the Government, within hours of shunting him out as Mumbai Police Commissioner, said that Maria would continue to supervise the probe after the decision generated much heat in media and political circles, ambguity persisted on the actual role.
Sheena was murdered on April 24, 2012, and her body was burnt and disposed of in the forest in Raigad district the next day.
Apart from Sheena's mother Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyamver Rai were arrested in the case and are now in judicial custody after being interrogated for 14 days by police.
(With inputs from PTI)