A special court here on Thursday rejected the plea filed by Peter Mukerjea, an accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, seeking its direction to the Arthur Road jail authorities to shift him back to a special cell.
Mukerjea, who is accused of being part of the conspiracy to kill Sheena, was lodged in a special cell of Arthur Road jail ever since his arrest in November 2015. However, he was recently shifted to a general cell in jail.
Special CBI judge J C Jagdale, while rejecting his plea, observed that transfer of a prisoner from one barrack to another is a prerogative of the prison authorities.
Mukerjea's lawyer Amit Ghag filed an application on Wednesday pleading that he be moved back to a special cell. The lawyer pleaded that Mukerjea had recently undergone a heart surgery and was yet to fully recover.
In the general cell, Mukerjea faces the risk of contracting infection, which could spell trouble for his health. That is why he should be kept in a special cell, the application said.
The CBI, in its reply, said that the court can pass an appropriate order as per the prison rules. After hearing both the sides, the court ruled that transfer of a prisoner from one barrack to another is an administrative decision and court cannot pass an order against it.
"It has to be remembered that central jail's internal administration is guided by prison rules. As per these guidelines, the jail authorities are entitled to remove the inmate from one barrack to another for the safety and care of the inmate," the court observed.
The jail superintendent is entirely and solely responsible for the safety and security of the jail inmates, it added.
"If any harm causes to the inmate, then the superintendent of the Arthur Road Jail will be held responsible. Therefore, an administration order cannot be passed against the prison rules," the court added.
Sheena was killed allegedly by her mother Indrani Mukerjea, a former media executive, with the help of two other accused in April 2012. The matter came to light in August 2015 after Indrani's driver Shyamvar Rai took the lid off the murder, following his arrest in an arms case. It led to the arrest of Indrani and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna. Peter, who was Indrani's husband at that time, was arrested later for allegedly being part of the murder conspiracy.