Indrani Mukerjea, a former media executive who has been in the news for the Sheena Bora murder case has been hospitalised due to poisoning/overdose of drugs as per the latest media reports. She was arrested in 2015 in connection with the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena Bora in 2012. She has also been at the centre of a controversy with regard to the INX group as well. She had co-founded INX media with her husband in 1996. She also took on the role of CEO of the company. However, she resigned in 2009 and sold her stake in it. In 2010, the Enforcement Directorate registered a case under FEMA pertaining to diversions of investment by three Mauritius-based companies in INX Media. Indrani Mukerjea has been in jail for quite some time now. An inmate being allegedy poisoned under mysterious circumstances raises several concerns. A report in pgurus gives an interesting take about why Indrani Mukerjea could have been poisoned.
This could be a case of food poisoning or accidental poisoning but there could be some motives behind an attempt to eliminate Indrani. Before understanding why Indrani Mukerjea may have been poisoned, it is necessary to go through some of the past events to understand the significance of this incident.
The investigations in the INX media case came to an abrupt halt in 2013. The investigations were abated but no explanation was given as too why the investigations were stopped suddenly. Even though there was a lot to be discovered, the authorities chose to stop the investigations without coming to a conclusion. However, when the Modi government came to the helm of affairs in May 2014, the investigations were reopened by the investigation wing of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). The CBDT investigating agency came to the conclusion that Indrani Mukerjea, along with her husband Peter Mukerjea had laundered investments to the tune of Rs. 275 crores. As a consequence of this report, the Mumbai Enforcement Directorate reopened investigations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The abrupt halt to the investigations in 2013, had happened when UPA was in power and P. Chidambaram was the Finance Minister.
During the investigations, Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea made a confessional statement. before the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate. They stated that they had both met the then finance minister P Chidambaram at his North Block office, seeking clearance for foreign investments in their media company after the Income Tax department detected irregularities in 2007. They further admitted that the then Finance Minister Chidambaram had asked them to help his son Karti Chidambaram in his business and make foreign remittances for the same. Going by their statement, the accused couple then met Karti at a five-star hotel, where Karti Chidambaram made a demand of $ 1 million. However, a final payment of $700,000 was made to the overseas account of the firm linked to Karti. These statements were made not only before the investigation agencies but also before the judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which makes their statements admissible before a court of law. Karti Chidambaram was thereafter arrested on the basis of the statements made by Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea.
It is clear that Indrani Mukerjea is a key witness in a high profile case. It is natural that she could be targeted by those having vested interests. Given the act of alleged poisoning that has come to light, action must be taken against the jail authorities for such a serious lapse and a probe must also be launched into the whole incident. It must be determined as to who poisoned Indrani Mukerjea (if it indeed is a case of poisoning), who wants her to be eliminated. Indrani Mukerjea is a crucial witness in an important case, and with this attempt to allegedly eliminate her, it is up to the concerned agencies to beef up her security and avoid such attempts in the future.
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