The 2012 Sheena Bora murder case not only sent chills across the nation but also made the people hungry to know what really happened. The key accused at the time was Sheena’s mother Indrani Mukerjea who was arrested and jailed for 6 years. She then wrote a memoir titled ‘Unbroken: The Untold Story’ in 2023. Netflix worked on a four-part documentary series with Indrani titled “The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth” which was released on February 29.

Netflix also faced legal hardships prior to the release of the show. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed an application in a special court in Mumbai on February 17 seeking a ban on the docu-series. The investigating body asked the court to stop the Netflix series featuring the accused persons and persons associated with the case, as well as its telecast on any platform, till the conclusion of the ongoing trial.

Following this, special CBI judge SP Naik-Nimbalkar issued a notice to Netflix Entertainment Services India and others to respond to the application. The CBI argued that the Netflix show could prejudice the ongoing trial, following which, Netflix told the court that it would not air the show till February 29, the date of the next hearing. The entertainment company also arranged a screening of the show for the CBI and the judges.

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The Result

The Bombay High Court dismissed the CBI’s plea seeking a stay on the show’s airing. The division bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Manjusha A Deshpande viewed the series and prima facie could not find anything that goes against the prosecution. They said, “We initially thought there maybe something and hence we also watched the docuseries. Public perception is the least of our concerns.” 

Books and films have already been made on this story. The bench said “Whatever she [Indrani] has said [in the series], everything is in public domain. Honestly, we have not found anything that goes against the prosecution. We felt you had a genuine apprehension and, therefore, gave you the opportunity to view the series and did not let the other party argue that day. You cannot presume the accused to be guilty.” 

The court further questioned the CBI “Tell us which witness has spoken which is contrary to the prosecution? In fact, it is favouring the prosecution. Public perceptions can be influenced by newspapers and everything. But the judiciary does not get affected by all this. We only go by evidence and what is produced before us.” 

The Murder Case

In August 2015, Mumbai police arrested Shyamwar Rai for illegal firearm possession, which led to him confessing his involvement in the murder of 25-year-old Sheena Bora in 2012. He was the former driver for media tycoon Peter Mukerjea and his second wife Indrani. Initially said to be Indrani’s sister, it was later revealed that Sheen was her daughter.

Rai disclosed that he strangled Sheena, along with Indrani and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna in the bylanes of Bandra, before burning and disposing of her body in Raigad district the next day. Indrani and Sanjeev were subsequently arrested, followed by Peter in December, as the CBI took over the case.

Indrani Mukerjea Netflix documentary series The Indrani Mukerjea Story Buried Truth arrested sheena bora murder case trial CBI

The CBI alleges the murder was motivated by the Mukerjeas’ disapproval of Sheena’s relationship with Peter’s son from his first marriage, Rahul Mukerjea. Indrani denies the allegations, claiming discrepancies in the CBI’s case and insisting Sheena is alive and living abroad. The murder trial is currently ongoing with all parties currently on bail.

The Series’ Reception

The documentary promises to peel back the layers of Sheena Bora’s ‘sensational‘ murder and Indrani Mukerjea’s subsequent arrest in 2015. Initially scheduled to release on February 22, the docu-series got postponed to February 29 due to the CBI plea. The show also features Mikhail Bora, Indrani’s son and Sheena’s brother, as well as Vidhie Mukerjea, Indrani’s other daughter, who are both witnesses in the ongoing trial.

Indrani is the only accused who’s agreed to participate in this series and she gets plenty of opportunity to present her side of the story. What unfolds is a tantalizing tale about dysfunctional family dynamics and the allure of money and power. The series seems to present the conspiracy theories regarding the case without committing to any. The truth still seems buried.

An innocent young woman lost her life, but her deceptive family members used her death to launch attacks against each other, accumulate influence, and in doing so, expose what human beings are capable of at their worst. It is to the show’s credit that it never loses sight of the actual tragedy here, even as it pulps the juiciest aspects of the story for entertainment.

Have you watched the Netflix docu-series “The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth” yet? Let us know your thoughts on it in the comments below.