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Setback For CBI As Court Paves Way For Indrani Mukerjea Docu-Series Release


This paves the way for the release of the series on OTT platform Netflix.

Mumbai:

The Bombay High Court on Thursday said it has not found anything against the prosecution or the trial in the Netflix docu-series on Indrani Mukerjea, accused of killing her daughter Sheena Bora.

A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Manjusha Deshpande dismissed the petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), seeking a stay on the release of the movie till the trial in the case is complete.

This paves the way for the release of the series on OTT platform Netflix.

The bench said it had viewed the series and found nothing in it that would prejudice the trial or the prosecution.

The docu-series, titled ‘The Indrani Mukerjea Story: The Buried Truth’, delves into the disappearance of 25-year-old Bora and was scheduled to premiere on streaming platform Netflix on February 23.

The bench had last week directed Netflix to hold a special screening of the series for the CBI officers and lawyers concerned. Netflix had then said it would not air the series till Thursday (February 29).

On Thursday, Additional Solicitor General Devang Vyas, appearing for the CBI, said the series prejudices the administration of justice and fair trial. He claimed that it may create a public perception which would in turn affect the judicial mind. The high court, however, noted that it too had watched the series and had thought that the CBI would not press its demand against the series.

“There is nothing in the series that goes against the prosecution or the trial. We tried to look at it in every single way, but honestly, we did not find anything,” the bench said.

It added that not a single witness, whose interview has been taken by the makers of the series, has said any single word against the prosecution.

“Not a single witness has said anything. Let us not say much as the series is yet to be released. Tell us which witness has spoken which is contrary to the prosecution? In fact it is favouring the prosecution,” the high court said.

The court further noted that media trial and debates on ongoing cases is not something new and there can be no censoring of the same.

“Public perceptions can be influenced by newspapers and everything. But the judiciary is not get affected by all this. We only go by evidence and what is produced before us. Public perception is the least of a court’s concern,” the bench said.

It added that people see such series and movies and move on and nobody carries it with them.

The court said even what the accused Indrani Mukerjea has said in the series is already available in the public domain.

“Initially, we felt that the CBI had a genuine apprehension and hence we gave it the opportunity to view the series and we did not even let the other party argue,” the HC said.

But we have viewed and honestly, we have not found anything that goes against the prosecution, the court added.

The court further said that there are already some books published on the case and even two movies have been made.

The bench also refused to allow Peter Mukerjea, Indrani’s ex-husband and a co-accused in the case, to intervene in the matter.

Peter’s advocate Manjula Rao said the series was projecting him in a bad light. The court, however, said he can file a separate suit if he wishes to.

The CBI moved the HC after a special court on Tuesday rejected its application against the series. According to the CBI, 89 out of the 237 witnesses have been examined so far before the trial court.

Bora was allegedly strangled to death in a car by Indrani, her then-driver Shyamvar Rai and former husband Sanjeev Khanna in April 2012. Bora was Indrani’s daughter from her previous relationship. Her body was burnt in a forest in the neighbouring Raigad district.

The murder came to light in 2015 after Rai revealed about the killing following his arrest in another case. Indrani was arrested in August 2015 and granted bail in May 2022. The other accused in the case, Rai, Khanna and Peter Mukerjea, are also out on bail.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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