Mumbai

Indrani allowed to file FIR against jail officials

Indrani Mukerjea leaves J.J. Hospital after a medical check-up on Wednesday.

Indrani Mukerjea leaves J.J. Hospital after a medical check-up on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Wednesday ordered a medical examination for Indrani Mukerjea (accused of the murder of Sheena Bora), and permitted her to register an FIR against erring Byculla jail officials allegedly involved in the death of Manjula Shette.

Mukerjea told special judge J.C. Jagdale that she was beaten up by jail officials and was threatened that she would be assaulted if she gave her confessional statement to the magistrate. She told the court that after all the inmates protested about Shette’s death, the superintendent of jail ordered a lathi charge on all inmates after turning off the lights in the ward. When she said she wanted to give a statement as a witness to the assault on Shette, she was told that she should be ready for sexual assault.

“I was hit on the hand and legs. I can barely walk,” she said, adding that the superintendent told her “Tu witness banne ja rahi hai. Tereko bhi dekh lenge […] Jo uske saath hua woh tere saath bhi hoga (If you become a witness, I’ll see to it that what happened to her happens to you)”.

The court said Mukerjea should first be taken for a medical examination and later to Nagpada police station to file her complaint.

On June 27, Mukerjea’s advocate Gunjan Mangla filed an application before the court saying, “An incident occurred on June 24, 2017, in Byculla prison wherein an inmate [named Manjula Shette] was killed. Today I have visited the Byculla prison. I was informed that she [Indrani] was beaten up pursuant to the said killing by the Superintendent and the Byculla jail officials. She showed me her bruise marks and injuries, which were very prominent on her hands, legs and head. Further, she informed that she was verbally abused by the jail officials [and] the superintendent and was threatened [with] sexual assault for protesting against the cold-blooded murder in custody. She further requested me to bring the said incident to court’s attention and request her production as she wants to lodge a complaint against the jail officials. She further informed that several inmates want to give their statements against the jail officials who were involved in the incident.”

Mukerjea has already recorded her statement before the investigating team about Shette’s alleged murder by the prison guards.

Accounts frozen

Meanwhile, authorities in the U.K. has frozen foreign accounts allegedly belonging to Peter and Indrani Mukerjea in connection with a money-laundering and corruption case against them.

Government sources said authorities in London have informed Indian investigating agencies that the action was taken subsequent to some Letters Rogatories (LRs) sent to them.

They said the LRs were sent by the Enforcement Directorate after consultations with the CBI, in connection with its probe against the duo, INX media and others. LRs are judicial requests that are sent to seek information from a foreign country to take forward a criminal probe against an Indian entity.

The ED had recently filed a criminal case against the Mukerjea couple, INX media and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

With PTI inputs

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 7:32:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/indrani-allowed-to-file-fir-against-jail-officials/article19166612.ece

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