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Indrani Mukerjea makes bail : SC

Indrani Mukerjea makes bail : SC

Written by Shaurya Mahajan

Today, the Supreme Court granted bail to Indrani Mukerjea in the case alleging the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, considering the fact that she has been under custody for 6.5 years, and that the trial is not likely to complete soon. Apart from the conditions to be imposed by the Trial Court, the Apex Court noted that the conditions imposed while granting bail to co-accused husband, Peter Mukerjea would also be imposed on her.

A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and AS Bopanna passed the order in a special leave petition filed against an order passed by the Bombay High Court in November 2021 rejecting her bail plea. The bench noted that Indrani has been behind bars for 6.5 years now and that even if 50% of the witnesses are given up by the prosecution, the trial is not likely to be over soon.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the petitioner. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation, opposed the bail plea.

Apart from the period of incarceration, Mr. Rohatgi emphasised on the fact that out of 237 prosecution witnesses only 68 has been examined till date. He argued that the Investigating Officer in the matter was on leave from 07.06.2021 to 04.05.2022. It was his apprehension that given the large volume of witnesses and the pace at which witnesses are being examined, the trial will not complete anytime soon. Reliance was placed upon earlier judgements of the Apex Court wherein accused persons undergoing long period of custody in jail have been enlarged on bail.

Mr. Raju opposed the bail application stating that the evidence of the eye-witness, who is an accused turned approver evidently indicate Indrani’s involvement in the crime. He further submitted that the CDRs also suggest the same. On instructions, he submitted that 50% of the witnesses would be given up and trial would be completed at the earliest. The Bench was impelled not to grant bail considering the fact that the evidence of Rahul Mukerjea, who is a crucial witness in the matter is scheduled to be recorded on 27.05.2022 and if released on bail, there is an apprehension that Indrani would influence him.

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