In a development that is likely to weaken the prosecution case in the Sheena Bora murder, there is a reported mix-up on the remains collected by police in 2012 and those sent recently for forensic examination. According to a report submitted by forensic experts at the B Y L Nair Hospital to the Khar police, the remains sent to them by JJ Hospital does not match the ones submitted by Pen police when Bora's body was allegedly first discovered.
"JJ Hospital gave the Khar police multiple teeth, bones from chest and vertebrae, and some charred skin. These were not the remains mentioned in the Pen report. The humerus was not there in the JJ samples. It seems that JJ doctors neither documented what was given to them in 2012 nor what they handed over to the Khar police in 2015," said a doctor from the institute to The Times of India. "It is clear that we are dealing with two different sets of remains."
The Sheena Bora murder case at the moment relies heavily on forensic evidence, as all confessions to police are not admissible in court as evidence unless they are made in the presence of a magistrate. The police have separately established a DNA match between the bones recently exhumed by them, which reportedly belong to Bora's body, and their prime suspect Indrani Mukerjea.
Earlier in 2012, Pen police had handed over remains to JJ Hospital. The hospital then handed over the remains to Khar police, which were then sent to Nair hospital doctors. However the samples received by Nair hospital don't match the description in Pen police's inventory and preliminary post-mortem report.
Meanwhile a local court today extended the judicial custody of the three accused in the case — Indrani Mukherjea, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyam Rai — till October 5.
The trio, whose judicial custody ended today, were produced before a Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate Court via video-conferencing. All the three accused, who are lodged in various jails in the city, could not be produced physically due to security reasons.
Last week, the Maharashtra government decided to transfer the Sheena Bora murder probe to CBI after days of uncertainty on the supervisory role of former Mumbai police chief Rakesh Maria, who was shunted in the midst of the inquiry that he had helmed proactively.
The decision for a probe free from "prejudices" was announced at a press conference on September 18 by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi, who said that financial angle of the case has also been taken into account in transferring the probe to the central investigation agency.
(with PTI inputs)