Rahul also to a question from Indrani’s defence counsel Ranjit Sangle said, “It is true to say that initially I had cordial relations with Indrani, and later on it turns sour.”
Rahul said he had a cordial relationship with his father and initially with Indrani too “but then we had an argument and since then it turned sour.” He said, “I visited my father and Sheena. I did not classify Indrani as my parent,” when asked if he, after being shifted to a Bandra flat in 2007 by his father, visited Sheena and his parents at their Worli house.
Rahul said he was unaware of Rs 10 lakh being paid by former police officer Sohel Buddha to Mumbai police in 2010 not to register an FIR against him or settling a matter with a pregnant woman who he allegedly hit with his motorcycle. He denied crashing his bike into any pregnant woman and to a question said he was unaware whether she lost her child due to the alleged accident.
Rahul, tall and lean, donning a white shirt and beige trousers, speaking with a slight British accent, answered around 100 questions for almost three hours on day one of his cross examination by advocate Sangle, defence counsel for Indrani Mukerjea—the prime accused in the case. Indrani was his father’s second wife. Both Indrani and Peter are on bail and were in court sitting in the dock.
After few basics, Sangle began by asking the British citizen Rahul, who is December 1982 born, whether he was aware of Section 302 Indian Penal Code (IPC). He said he was now aware that the punishment it attracts is either death sentence or life imprisonment and that the accused in the dock are charged for offence of murder—of Sheena Bora. Sangle also asked him if he was aware about IPC Section 194.
Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence) He said he was not. Sangle then read out the section which attracts a punishment of life imprisonment or ten years if a person is convicted on such evidence and “if an innocent person be convicted and executed in consequence of such false evidence, the person who gives such false evidence shall be punished either with death” or life sentence. Rahul then said, “I understand the meaning of section 194, now read over to me.”
Sangle asked him whether in 2010 he had met “with a major accident” while riding his bike. Rahul said it was a “minor” one and “not really an accident.” Sangle said “is it correct that you crashed with the bike into a pregnant lady” Rahul replied, “it not quite correct.”
Sangle persisted, “and two days later she lost her child.” Rahul said, “am not aware.” He also said Buddha never informed him about paying anyone. Rahul added, “I had stopped my bike before any impact with the lady, however the lady had fallen and made a lot of hue and cry. Cops came and took my bike and were not ready to give it back. Therefore, I informed my father and he got in touch with the cops.”
Rahul, to a question from Sangle said it is true that Indrani was “technically my step mother and Sheena my step sister.” “And yet you had no hesitation moral and ethical when you realised she is her daughter and yet continued your relation?” Rahul said he continued, “because we were not blood relations and were consenting adults.”
To a question whether they were in continuous “physical relationship” Rahul asked, “how do you define physical relationship?” He later said he had ‘physical relations’ with Sheena at the end of 2008 and early 2009 and on his offer, she came to stay with him in the “second half of December 2008″ in a Bandra flat. He said in 2007 “because of Indrani my father did not want me at Marlow (father’s Worli house) and shifted me to Bandra ( in a friend’s flat) and when in Marlow I started having feelings for Sheena.”
Rahul, to questions, admitted that in England he had three consecutive traffic offences and his driving licence was revoked. He also said the police in England had raided his house when he was 17. He said he had “six plants of Marijuana in my cupboard in my house (in England)” and he had to go to court and pay a 200 pound fine. He said in reply to a question, “it is not true to say in England apart from Marijuana I consumed many other narcotic substances.”
At some points Peter’s defence counsel Manjula Rao objected to Sangle’s “irrelevant” line of questioning about Peter pertaining to time when Rahul was a child, saying, “I don’t think it is right to bring details of a relationship that to from a witness who was a child at the time.”
Sangle said, “The questions are not intended for Peter’s character assassination.”
Rahul’s cross examination will continue on Tuesday before special CBI Judge S P Naik-Nimbalkar.