In a surprise move, the Maharashtra government on Friday recommended to hand over the high-profile Sheena Bora murder case probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Making the announcement, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) KP Bakshi said the decision was taken to ensure a "fair and impartial probe" into the sensational murder case, which surfaced on August 25, more than three years after it actually took place.
He, however, said that it was up to the central government to decide whether the CBI would finally investigate the case.
"For the last few days, since the former Mumbai police commissioner was replaced by Ahmad Javed, the media has sought to convey the impression that efforts were on to deliberately try and dilly-dally and interfere with the inquiry," Bakshi was quoted as saying by the media reports in reference to Rakesh Maria's removal as Mumbai police commissioner.
"I am compelled to say that because of this impression being created by certain sections of the media and based on the report of the DGP, we have decided to hand over the case to the CBI," IANS quoted Bakshi as saying.
Based on Raigad SP's report on suppressing the murder when it was actually detected in May 2012, Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Dayal had submitted a complete status report on the Sheena murder case following which the BJP government of the state decided to hand over the case to CBI.
Earlier, there were reports that the new Mumbai police commissioner, Ahmed Javed, knew media tycoon Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea--Sheena's mother who also happens to be the prime accused--and they had attended a function hosted by the top cop.
The Mumbai police had arrested Indrani, along with her ex husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyam Rai last month and they are presently in judicial custody.
Sheena, the daughter of Indrani through her former live-in partner Sidharth Das, was murdered on April 24, 2012 and her half burnt body was dumped the next day in the forests of Raigad. Indrani had allegedly tried to kill Sheena's brother Mikhail Bora also but he somehow managed to escape, the latter has claimed.
The murder was detected on May 25, but the local police did not file an FIR or made any formal entry allegedly at the behest of the then Raigad SP, the incumbent--S Haque--has reportedly told in his report to the DGP.
- With IANS inputs