The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) refuted the charge on Monday of threat to Indrani Mukerjea’s life at Byculla women’s jail and claimed that Indrani, key accused in the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, may have received medicines from someone she knew and consumed them after reaching the jail, resulting in her falling ill in April. The agency made this claim in its reply to the special CBI court in connection to Indrani’s bail application.
A report published in the The Indian Express stated that on April 6 last, Indrani was rushed to the State-run JJ Hospital in Mumbai from the jail in a semi-conscious state. In her bail plea, the former media baroness had claimed that there was an attempt to “overdose” her by the jail staff.
The report further quoted the CBI as saying, “It is pertinent to mention here that on each and every date of trial, accused/applicant happens to meet many known persons outside the courtroom and exchanges papers, etc. She might have received the said medicines from her known persons on the said date of hearing and she might have taken them after reaching the jail premises, thereafter, she had fallen ill and was admitted to Sir JJ Hospital immediately.” It added that jail authorities should be directed to not allow anyone to meet Indrani on the court premises without the court’s permission.
The CBI claimed that till April 6 last, Indrani was taking three drugs prescribed by the jail physician and a neurologist at JJ Hospital. The tests conducted at PD Hinduja Hospital later had showed that there were no signs of overdose of any of these drugs. Instead, it showed the presence of 32 times the usual cut-off level of Benzodiazepines, mostly prescribed to treat anxiety. Neither the jail physician nor the neurologist at JJ Hospital had prescribed Benzodiazepines, it said.
It added that Indrani can be taken to the hospital immediately from the jail and that she is getting proper treatment. The CBI said that she stays at a separate cell, which is under CCTV radar, and separate guards and vehicles escort her to the court. In her bail plea, Indrani had also claimed a threat to her life as she has given statements in the alleged INX Media corruption case. “It is submitted that persons against whom she has given statement are at present not influential persons. On the contrary, she is fully safe in judicial custody, as there is no access of persons from outside into the jail premises,” the CBI said. In the INX case, Indrani’s co-accused includes former Union Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti.
Further, Indrani had claimed that she is a witness in the alleged murder of jail convict Manjula Shetye. To this, the CBI said that the six staffers accused in the case are in jail and there is no threat to her life from them. Also, the agency claimed that since Indrani is an “influential” person, she may tamper with evidence if granted bail and also flee the country as she is a British national.
Meanwhile, Indrani’s son Mekhail Bora continued with his deposition on Monday. He was questioned about “abusive” text messages he had sent to Indrani in 2015. Mekhail said as his grandparents were ill, due to frustration, he had sent the messages