Senior IPS officer R.D. Shinde, who was the Superintendent of Police of Raigad in 2012 at the time of the murder of Sheena Bora, might come under the CBI scanner now. The agency has indicated that it will look into any lapses on the part of Maharashtra Police while dealing with the case after Sheena Bora’s body was recovered. It has already filed a lengthy charge sheet in the matter against Indrani Mukerjea, her second husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyamvar Rai. In a sudden move, it also arrested Peter Mukerjea claiming that he was part of the murder conspiracy. Peter Mukerjea has been remanded to CBI custody till 23 November.
In another development, the state government has directed Maharashtra Director General of Police to submit a detailed report about the steps taken by the Raigad Police, and the lapses if any, after the recovery of Sheena’s body in the year 2012. More than a month ago, the present Superintendent of Police of Raigad was given the responsibility of conducting an inquiry. After he submitted a report to then DGP Sanjeev Dayal, the outgoing DG had submitted a one page report to the Maharashtra government. The government sources said the report was incomplete, and hence a full report has been sought again.
“It is likely that the previous report was passed on to CBI as it is investigating the case. The CBI can ask for a detailed report from the state government. The state government will then have to send a copy to the central agency,” a highly placed source told The Sunday Guardian. Many senior police officials, CBI officials and bureaucrats refused to comment on the issue.
Maharashtra Director General of Police Pravin Dixit did not respond to queries on the matter.
A previous inquiry conducted by Suvez Haque, current Raigad Superintendent of Police, had found that the police had failed to register an FIR after the recovery of Sheena Bora’s body. Only spot panchnama and inquest panchnama were conducted, and the statements of four witnesses were recorded. The inquiry also found that the Raigad police had written to the J. J. Hospital and Kalina FSL, seeking medical and forensic examination. It is not clear why an FIR was not registered despite such detailed reports and witness statements.
At the time of the incident, R. D. Shinde was the Raigad Superintendent of Police. He is currently posted in Mumbai as the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Central Region. Suresh Mirage, who was then the Police Inspector of Pen police station, had made a station diary entry of the recovery of the body. These officials might come under the CBI scanner now for lapse of duty, sources said.
‘PHONE RECORDS HOLD KEY’
“Apart from the DGP’s inquiry, the CBI will have to independently probe the matter of lapse of duty again, by using its statutory powers. Otherwise, the senior officers can easily get away. Call records of the time of the recovery of body will have to be analysed. It will have to be seen if anyone contacted Peter or his source, to inform about the recovery of Sheena’s body. Only after this, will the CBI press any charges against the police officers,” said Y. P. Singh, IPS officer-turned-lawyer.
The CBI may have to file a separate case against the police officers under Section 217 of the Indian Penal Code for lapse of duty. “They are not party to the murder conspiracy. So, a separate case will have to be registered against them,” he said.
Currently, a team of CBI officials which has arrived from Delhi has been questioning Peter Mukerjea at its special cell at Nariman Point in front of the State Secreatariat, Mantralay. According to media reports, Rahul Mukerjea, Peter Mukerjea’s son and Sheena Bora’s fiancé, has also been allowed to stay in the bungalow. He had recorded conversations with Peter Mukerjea and Indrani Mukerjea, in which both of them have lied about the whereabouts of Sheena. The recordings which were submitted to the Mumbai Police are now in charge of the CBI.
Senior officials said that the CBI had sought help from the officials in Mumbai. In accordance with it, police bandobast was made for the team to ensure smooth interrogation of the accused and the suspects. The Maharashtra Forensic Science Laboratory had, a few days ago, submitted its report to the CBI about the electronic evidence recovered from seized laptops and pen drives from people associated with the case.