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Sheena Bora Murder Case: Media tycoon Peter Mukherjea arrested

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Picture Courtesy:-zeenews.india.com

Mumbai: In a dramatic development, the CBI on Thursday evening arrested former media tycoon Peter Mukerjea in connection with the murder of his step-daughter Sheena Bora, on accounts of hiding important information from CBI.

Peter — the husband of one of the three prime accused and Sheena’s mother Indrani Mukerjea — was picked up from his Worli residence by a Central Bureau of Investigation team on Thursday evening and taken to the CBI office in south Mumbai.

 

CBI has today (Thursday) arrested Peter Mukerjea in a case relating to the murder of Sheena Bora. Further investigation is on,

Peter, the fourth accused in the case so far, is a former CEO of Star Group and has been charged with criminal conspiracy in the sensational murder case.

Arrested on August 25, Indrani is currently in CBI custody along with two other prime accused — her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyamwar Rai.

The CBI earlier on Thursday had filed a charge sheet against Indrani, Khanna and Rai in a Mumbai magistrate court.

Peter is likely to be produced before a court on Friday morning with the CBI expected to seek his remand for custodial interrogation.

In fast-paced developments during the day, the CBI lodged a FIR against Peter, making him the fourth prime accused in the case which the central agency is probing since mid-September.

The sudden arrest has come as an embarrassment for Mumbai police which had questioned him repeatedly after the murder case broke out in late August.

Earlier, there were allegations of Peter’s ‘close proximity’ to certain police officials, and several discrepancies in his statements to the investigators.

Though the real motives behind Sheena’s killing are as yet unclear, speculation revolves around suspected financial and property dealings in various parts of India and even abroad.

Officials hint that the latest development points to possible links between Peter and the other three accused in the case.

According to investigators, Sheena, 24, an employee with a private company in Mumbai, was strangulated in a car on the night of April 24, 2012.

Her body was taken in the vehicle to an isolated spot in the forests near Gagode village in adjacent Raigad district, around 80 km south of Mumbai.

The accused trio poured petrol over the body, set it afire and dumped the half-burnt remains in the thick bushes from where it was found on May 23, a month later, by a local villager.

However, at that time, Raigad police failed to register a complaint in the case and the matter is being separately investigated.

Nearly three years after the killing, forensic and other tests confirmed that the remnants found in the forests were indeed of Sheena.

(Inputs from IANS)

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CBI Unravels Wrongdoing in Atomic Minerals Mining Licensing

The Delhi High Court that it had taken a policy decision not to auction or re-grant the offshore blocks

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CBI, Atomic Minerals, Mining
The government was unaware that these minerals had strategic and defence value. Pixabay

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has uncovered large-scale irregularities in the ownership pattern, financial resources and technical ability of five companies granted mining licences for offshore blocks bearing rare and atomic minerals.

The companies, while applying for mining licence in June 2010, had a common director, the Central government has told the Supreme Court.

The Centre has argued that the five companies were registered after the government called private parties for mining licences in June 2010, says a CBI document.

At that time, the government was unaware that these minerals had strategic and defence value.

CBI, Atomic Minerals, Mining
The companies, while applying for mining licence in June 2010, had a common director. Pixabay

The administering authority of these licences did not obtain mandatory clearances from various ministries, especially the Home Ministry, according to the CBI.

The Delhi High Court, in an order dated April 25, directed the Centre to execute the exploration licence of the companies as per the procedure within four weeks from the date of receipt of the order.

The verdict came even after the Centre, in an affidavit dated April 16, told the Delhi High Court that it had taken a policy decision not to auction or re-grant the offshore blocks, bearing atomic minerals, to private parties.

Moving the Supreme Court against the High Court ruling, the Centre accused the companies of not submitting the proper supporting documents on the basis of which the marking was done in the evaluation sheet.

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The companies were charged with not providing any document indicating the sanctioned line of credit from any financial institution or bank.

One of the companies approached a leading financial services company seeking finance to carry out mining.

“This document was accepted as a document in support of the financial capability of the applicant company. Accordingly, a MoU was signed on September 23, 2010, which was received by Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) in October 2010, after the date of submission of application for grant of licences on September 14, 2010,” said an internal CBI document.

Therefore, the Centre believed that the company had not confirmed the sanctioned credit limit as per the revised guidelines.

CBI, Atomic Minerals, Mining
The Centre has argued that the five companies were registered after the government called private parties for mining licences in June 2010. Pixabay

“The above MoU was valid only till March 31, 2011. Thus, on the date of issue of grant order by IBM on April 5, 2011, the MoU was null and void,” said the document.

According to information from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), the authorised share capital of this company and its sister concerns was Rs 25 lakh each whereas the paid up share capital of each of the companies was Rs 1 lakh.

The net worth was negative for each company during fiscal 2016-17. The companies, even as of now, are not financially capable of undertaking any activities or business operations, said the document.

The companies stated that they were sister companies of 12 other companies engaged in different business sectors.

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“The worth of the companies and their directors are more than Rs 300 crore. If the exploration licence is granted to the applicant companies, expenses up to Rs 50 crore can be spent easily and can be further increased up to Rs 100 crore, if required,” says a petition in the Supreme Court.

“However, this is not acceptable since the company has been incorporated as Limited Liability Company and therefore the financial commitments by the sister companies had no relevance in the absence of resolution passed by the Board of Directors of the sister companies,” it added.

Despite the inadequate documents in support of their financial strength, the companies got 25 marks by the screening committee which shortlisted applications for mining licence.

“These private companies failed to produce satisfactory documentation for the requisite technical ability and financial resources to undertake exploration operation”, said an officer familiar with the investigation.

The CBI has charge-sheeted the government officials who in November 2017 signed in haste two licence deeds with one of the companies without following the due process.

The CBI, which has started preliminary enquiry after a gap of six years following a go-ahead from the apex court, favours a full-fledged investigation against everyone linked to the grant of licences. (IANS)