Indrani Mukherjea will have to spend one more night in jail due to cash

  • Special CBI judge VC Barde ordered Indrani Mukerjea’s release from Byculla jail on furnishing a bond of ₹2 lakh

MUMBAI: A day after the Supreme Court granted her bail, a special CBI court on Thursday allowed former media executive Indrani Mukerjea to be released on a personal bond of ₹2 lakh but she is likely to come out of jail only on Friday.Special CBI judge VC Barde ordered Indrani’s release from Byculla jail on furnishing a bond of ₹2 lakh and one or two sureties of the same amount on an application filed by her lawyer Sana Khan.

Indrani Mukerjea, who has been accused of killing her daughter Sheena Bora in 2012, has been lodged in Byculla jail for more than six years.

Khan said the formalities to get Indrani Mukerjea out of the jail could not be completed on Thursday as the cash counter at the sessions court closed at 4pm before they received the CBI court order.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to her release on bail, taking into account the fact that she had been in custody for six-and-half years and even if 50% of the remaining witnesses were given up bythe prosecution, the trial will not be complete soon.

The court asked the trial court to spell out the bail conditions. Khan suggested that the court impose the same conditions as were placed on her estranged husband placed on Pritam aka Peter Mukerjea for his release on February 6, 2020. Peter Mukerjea was arrested on November 19, 2015, a day after the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), claiming that he too was part of the conspiracy to eliminate Sheena.

Indrani had, however, to fight out a long legal battle for bail. After her ninth plea was rejected by the Bombay high court on November 16, 2021, she had approached the Apex Court, seeking bail primarily in view of the fact that she had already spent over six-and-half years behind bars, but the conclusion of the trial was nowhere in sight.

She pointed out that the prosecution has cited 237 witnesses, but had only examined 68 of them so far. Besides, she said, there was no presiding officer for the special CBI court for over a year, between June 7, 2021, and May 4, 2022.

CBI had opposed her plea, contending that there was clinching evidence showing her involvement in the crime, which fact was also clear from the evidence of Rai. The central agency also offered to give up 50% of the remaining (169) witnesses and thus try to ensure the trial is concluded early.

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