Mumbai: In a major reprieve for beleaguered media baron Peter Mukherjea, the Bombay High Court on Thursday granted him bail holding that there is no evidence to prove his 'direct' involvement in the murder of his step-daughter Sheena Bora. The court also considered his medical condition while granting him bail.
A bench of Justice Nitin Sambre directed Mukerjea to furnish a surety of Rs.2 lakh to avail of his bail.
The bench, however, stayed its orders for six weeks, so as to enable the Central Bureau of Investigations to challenge Peter's bail.In its detailed order, the court has also ordered Peter not to meet his children – Rahul and Vidhie Mukherjea – who are yet to be examined by the trial court.
While granting him bail on 'merits' of the case, Justice Sambre said, “Peter was not in India at the time of the incident. It should be noted that the prosecution does not have any other evidence apart from the statements of the approver (driver Shyamvar Rai),” Justice Sambre held.
“Thus, it could be inferred that the prosecution does not have any evidence to show Peter's direct involvement in the conspiracy. It should be noted that the trial in the case is already underway and that he has been in jail for over four years now. This court also cannot lose sight of the fact that he has recently undergone bypass surgery,” Justice Sambre said while granting him bail.
Further trashing the contentions of the CBI against Peter, Justice Sambre noted that there was ample evidence to show the direct involvement of Indrani Mukherjea and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna in the murder, which took place on April 24, 2012.
“The CBI has not given any convincing explanation as to why Peter was arraigned as accused in the case six months after the arrest of the other accused (Indrani and Khanna),” Justice Sambre noted.
With regard to the contention of the CBI that Peter was against the relationship of his son Rahul and Sheena, the court said Peter was just being a 'responsible' father.