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Sheena Bora case: Indrani's ex-driver seeks to become approver.

by PTI A file photo of Indrani Mukerjea and her daughter Sheena Bora, left. Lending a new twist to the sensational Sheena Bora murder case, key accused Indrani Mukerjea's former driver Shyamvar Rai on Wednesday sought to turn approver, saying he wants to "disclose all truths" as he had taken part in her killing by strangulation. Photo - PTI

Mumbai: Lending a new twist to the sensational Sheena Bora murder case, key accused Indrani Mukerjea's former driver Shyamvar Rai on Wednesday sought to turn approver, saying he wants to "disclose all truths" as he had taken part in her killing by strangulation.

Recording his statement before a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here, Rai said he was under "no pressure, threat or coercion" to reveal the facts in the case and was "repentant" about his act.

The development came after Rai, an accused, wrote a two-page letter to the court last week seeking pardon in the case while stating that he wants to reveal the truth.

On Wednesday, when Special Judge H. S. Mahajan called Rai in the box, he said, "I am aware about the acts connected with the commission of the offence."

The judge questioned Rai if he had written the letter from the jail to which he replied in the affirmative.

When the judge asked how Rai knew about the incident, he replied, "I was present at the time of murder and was a participant."

He also told the court that Sheena was killed by strangulation.

The court later directed CBI to file its reply on May 17 over Rai's plea to turn approver in the case.

It also asked Thane Jail Superintendent and Thane Police Commissioner to ensure that Rai is produced in the court on the next hearing.

Indrani, her husband Peter Mukerjea and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna were present in court as Rai's statement was being recorded.

However, their lawyers said that even if the court accepts Rai's plea and makes him an approver, their case won't be affected.

"Its not CBI's case that Rai ever communicated with Peter during the course of murder and there's no evidence against him," said Peter's lawyer Mihir Gheewala.

Khanna's lawyer advocate Shreyansh Mithare also echoed the same view and said that this new development won't have any impact on their case.

While Indrani's lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani refused to comment on the fresh turn in the case, saying he will first have to go through the statement of Rai.

Rai was the first accused to be arrested in the case in August 2015.The killing came to light after Rai was picked up in connection with an arms case and later spilled the beans.

Rai last year had recorded his confessional statement before the magistrate under the provisions of section 164, which unlike the police statement, is admissible in the trial.

Sheena (24), Indrani's daughter from an earlier relationship, was strangulated inside a car in April 2012. Her body was found in a forest in Raigad.

The crime, which came to light in August, is allegedly linked to certain financial dealings.Two days ago, the court had castigated Thane jail officials for failing to produce Rai before it and had warned of contempt proceedings while directing them to bring him on Wednesday.

The court had also directed CBI to file its written submission on Peter Mukerjea's bail plea on May 13, failing which the court said it will fix the matter for passing the order.

Peter's bail application had been rejected in the past. Indrani, Sajeev and Rai were arrested in August last year while Peter was arrested in November. According to CBI, Peter was part of the murder conspiracy. While Peter (59) and Khanna are lodged in Arthur Road prison, Indrani (43) is in Byculla womens' jail.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:May 11, 2016
Words:647
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