The Special CBI Court on Thursday allowed Indrani Mukerjea's plea to turn approver in the INX Media case linked to former Union Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram. Last year, Indrani, who is the former head of INX Media, after giving a confessional statement in the court in connection with the INX Media case, filed a plea seeking to become an approver in the case. She is currently lodged in the Byculla jail in Mumbai in connection with the murder case of her daughter Sheena Bora.
On May 15, 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered an FIR in the case alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during P Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister.
Earlier, Indrani had told a special CBI court that she was ready to undergo a lie-detector test in the Sheena Bora murder case. She had submitted a handwritten application before special judge JC Jagdale, conveying her willingness to undergo a polygraph (commonly known as lie detector) test. In her plea, Mukerjea had claimed, “she was emotionally more settled... and it is only right and proper in the name of justice that I undergo the polygraph test.” However, the CBI has rejected her plea saying that there are more than 30 witnesses in the case. In 2015, Indrani had refused to give her consent to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to subject her to a lie-detector test.
According to the law, an accused cannot be made to undergo such tests without his or her consent. "In October 2015, I had not given consent...because I was under tremendous pressure not to undergo the test," she said in the application.
She succumbed to the pressure as she was in a "state of shock", was "mentally disturbed" and "vulnerable and physically unwell", she said.
Now she was "emotionally more settled", Indrani added. "I realise that I should have never succumbed to such pressure. It is only right and proper in the name of justice that I undergo the polygraph test as out of the 200 witnesses, only 35 have deposed so far. The investigation is also still continuing...," she said.
Indrani was arrested in August, 2015 for allegedly killing her daughter Sheena (24) with the help of others on April 24, 2012 and disposing of the body in a forest in neighbouring Raigad district. Her husband and former media baron Peter Mukerjea and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna too have been arrested in the case.
(With agency inputs)