Indrani Mukerjea

Indrani Mukerjea is a former HR consultant and media executive. She was the wife of Peter Mukerjea, a retired Indian television executive. In 2007 she co-founded INX Media with her ex-husband, where she took on the role of CEO. In 2009 she resigned from the company and later sold her stake in it. In August 2015, she was arrested by Mumbai Police and charged as the main accused in the alleged murder of her daughter, Sheena Bora.

Not to be confused with Indrani Mukherjee.

Indrani Mukherjea
Pori Bora[1]

(1972-11-22) 22 November 1972[2]
ResidenceWorli, Mumbai, India

Bristol, UK

Marbella, Spain
NationalityUnited Kingdom (formerly India)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom (formerly India)
OccupationHR consultant and media executive
Years active1996–2009
Spouse(s)Sanjeev Khanna (1993–2002)
Peter Mukerjea (2002 – 2017)
Partner(s)Siddhartha Das (1986–1989)[4]
ChildrenSheena Bora
Mikhail Bora
Vidhie Khanna (now Mukerjea)
Parent(s)Upendra Kumar Bora (father)[5]
Durga Rani Bora (mother)


In 1996 Indrani founded INX Services Private Limited as a recruitment company in Kolkata.[3][6] In 2001 Indrani moved to Mumbai where her recruitment firm considered Reliance Industries as her most important client.[7] The firm also handled recruitment for STAR India.[3] In 2005, the firm formed a partnership with Switzerland-based global executive search specialist, IMD International Search Group, which appointed Indrani as its regional director, Asia Pacific.[8][9]

In December 2006 Peter and Indrani Mukerjea became promoters of the INX Group, which consisted of human resources companies INX Services and INX Executive Search, and media companies INX Media and INX News. Indrani was appointed chairperson of INX Group.[10] Peter and Indrani Mukerjea held a 50% stake in INX Media.[11] The other half was held by private equity firms for a total funding of $170 million (₹750 crore according to the exchange rate at the time).[12] Temasek Holdings picked up 19% equity via Dunearn Investments, New Silk Route held 20%, New Vernon Private Equity Fund owned 6.31% while Indian entities Kotak Mahindra and SREI Group held 4.69% between them.[13]

INX News was incorporated on 22 December 2006 with an authorized capital of ₹7.5 crore (₹75 million) divided into 75 lakh (7.5 million) shares of ₹10 each.[14] INX Media took a 26% stake in INX News since Government of India regulations did not permit foreign direct investment in Indian news media beyond that limit at that time.[14] IM Media, a corporate entity claimed to be 99% owned by Indrani Mukerjea through her holding company Indrani Incon Pvt Ltd., held the majority 51% stake in INX News Indrani Mukerjea personally held a 17% stake. Peter Mukerjea, a foreign national, could not claim ownership in INX News. In March 2007 Vir Sanghvi, hired as CEO of INX News, was given a 16% stake as sweat equity.[15]

Peter Mukerjea, bound by a non-compete clause from his previous employer, became chairman of the human resources company INX Services Private Limited in January 2007.[9] In August 2007, Peter joined INX Media as chairman and chief strategy officer.[16][17] In November 2007 Indrani became the CEO of INX Media.[8]

At INX Media, Peter looked after advertisement, finance, distribution and revenues while Indrani was in charge of content, human resources and marketing.[17][18] In the first phase of operations, INX Media launched the Hindi general entertainment channel 9X and the Hindi youth music channel 9XM in November 2007. NewsX, an English news channel, launched in March 2008. In its first year of operations, the INX Group spent almost the entire corpus it had raised from foreign investors.[19] Employees suspected that vendors were encouraged to present inflated invoices so that the Mukerjeas could earn kickbacks.[20] By September 2008, all the investors in INX Media were looking to sell some part of their stake to raise funding for the second phase of expansion. They wanted $150 million to launch three regional channels, three regional music channels and three city-specific news channels.[21]

When the global financial crisis of 2007–08 hit the Indian media industry, advertisers could not pay their dues and INX Media in turn could not pay its vendors.[20] Employees suspected that TRP ratings of the general entertainment channel 9X were being added to those of NewsX in order to present a rosy picture to the investors. An audit conducted by Temasek Holdings brought up suspicions that the Mukerjeas had siphoned off ₹160 crore (₹1.6 billion) from the company.[20] In January 2009, the Mukerjeas sold INX Media and its loss-making channel NewsX to Indi Media Network, a partnership between the Nai Dunia promoter and CEO Vinay Chhajlani and former Businessworld editor Jehangir S Pochaa.[22][23][24] By March 2009 INX Media had accumulated losses of Rs 800 crore and was in debt to the tune of Rs 100 crore. Temasek Holdings and Kotak Mahindra were looking to exit.[25] With the company running out of cash and outstanding payments to creditors mounting,[26] the Mukerjeas resigned from their management positions. In March 2009 Indrani left, with Peter following a month later.[11][27] By April 2010, the Mukerjeas had sold their stake in the company.[28] In May 2011, the Mukerjeas resigned from their position on the board of directors of the company.[29]


In November 2008, The Wall Street Journal named Indrani as one of 50 Women to Watch.[30] Uttar Bhartiya Mahasangh, an organization that aims to promote the north Indian community in the country, awarded Indrani Mukerjea with the title of Uttar Ratna for her "outstanding work in the art, media and broadcasting sector".[31]


Conflict and fraud at INX Media

Starting from mid-2007 Indrani Mukerjea, as the chairperson of INX News, found herself in conflict with Vir Sanghvi, the CEO over control of the organization.[1][32] On January 23, 2008 NewsX announced that as a consequence Vir Sanghvi would resign on January 29, 2008.[33][34][35][36]

On the evening of January 31, 2008 Indrani Mukerjea fired five television journalists at NewsX without prior notice or explanation: executive editor Avirook Sen, head of domestic news, Rajesh Sundaram, editorial adviser Nick Pollard, consultant Arun Roy Chowdhury, and news anchor Kailash Menon.[37][38] Protesting against this unprofessional conduct, a further nine television journalists resigned, among them news coordinator Prakash Patra, and Narendra Nag.[39] The following day, February 1, 2008, a group of former NewsX employees took their grievances to Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, then Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the Government of India.[40][41] Dasmunshi conveyed their concern over dubious sources of funding at INX Media to P. Chidambaram, then Minister of Finance in the Government of India.[42][43][44] Chidambaram in turn requested the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to look into the allegations of financial impropriety.[45]

In February 2008 Rajesh Sundaram and Avirook Sen filed legal notices against NewsX seeking damages over their unfair dismissal.[46] By September 15, 2008 Avirook Sen had received a settlement worth ₹2 crore (₹20 million) paid out over four equal monthly installments.[47]

In the weeks following the departure of Vir Sanghvi, there was a mass exodus of talent from NewsX,[48] leaving it unable to meet its commitment to jittery investors of the launch of a news channel by March 31, 2008.[36] The Mukerjeas started exploring an exit route from INX Media[45] and ultimately sold it to Indi Media Network, partly owned by Nai Dunia promoter and CEO Vinay Chhajlani.

According to a report filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) in April 2013 based on its investigation into the Niira Radia tapes, IM Media, the majority stake holder in INX News, was a front for Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).[49] As per SFIO, Chhajlani's Nai Dunia was also indirectly owned by Mukesh Ambani, thus making IM Media and Nai Dunia related companies. On January 7, 2009 shares in INX Media, previously valued at ₹208.24, were sold to Nai Dunia for just ₹10 each. The SFIO report recommended charges be filed for causing wrongful losses to the ordinary shareholders of RIL under Indian Penal Code Sections 120B (conspiracy), 415 (cheating), 418 (cheating with knowledge that wrongful loss may ensue to person whose interest offender is bound to protect), and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property).[49][50]

Foreign exchange violation at INX Group

In 2010, the Enforcement Directorate, a financial crime fighting agency, registered a case under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for diverting foreign direct investment by three Mauritius-based companies in INX Media to its step down subsidiaries without prior approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).[51] The three companies named were New Vernon Private Equity Limited, New Silk Route (NSR) PE Mauritius, and Dunearn Investment (Mauritius). In 2013 the investigation was halted without explanation.[52] In May 2014 the investigative wing of the Central Board of Direct Taxes compiled a tax history of the INX Group and suggested that the Mukerjeas had laundered ₹275.5 crore (₹2.755 billion) via Mauritius into eight INX Group subsidiary companies between 2007 and 2008.[53][54] In September 2015 the Mumbai office of the Enforcement Directorate indicated that it would reopen the 2010 FEMA case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.[55] [56]

Sheena Bora murder

On 25 August 2015 Indrani Mukerjea was arrested by Mumbai Police in connection with the alleged murder of her daughter, Sheena Bora, in 2012.[57] She was charged under sections 302, 201 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.[58]

In September 2015 the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the case.[59] In November 2015 the CBI filed charges against Indrani under the Indian Penal Code Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 34 (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating and forgery), 364 (kidnapping) and 120-B (conspiracy).[60] Later that month CBI officials contended that Peter and Indrani Mukerjea had siphoned off money from INX Media and parked it in an offshore bank account in Sheena Bora's name.[61][62] The CBI has speculated that this financial angle might provide a motive for Sheena Bora's murder.[63][64]

Since September 2015 Indrani has been held in judicial custody at a women's-only prison in Byculla Jail, Mumbai.[65][66] While in custody, Indrani Mukerjea informed a trial court in Mumbai on December 20, 2016 that she had translated 700 verses of the Bhagavad Gita into English from Sanskrit. She had sought permission from a CBI court in Mumbai to publish them.

On June 26, 2017, following a jail inmate's death due to alleged torture by jail officials, Indrani and 200 other prisoners in Byculla women's prison were booked for rioting. The jail officials accused of murdering the inmate are currently being tried in a fast-track court.

Shyamvar Rai, one of the accused who turned an approver in the Sheena Bora murder case, told the CBI court that he was not aware that after becoming the key witness in the case he would be entitled to an acquittal.

Rai, a former driver of Indrani Mukerjea, turned approver in September 2015 when he moved an application before the metropolitan magistrate in which he claimed he wanted to "tell the truth".

He, however, remembers little about the manner in which his application was moved. During his cross-examination by defence lawyers, Rai failed to confirm the contents of his application before the court as they were in English, a language he didn't read, write, speak or understand. The only thing he could confirm was his signature in Hindi.

Rai, who was deposing in the case a few days ago, had also told the CBI court that he feared for his life after which he was provided protection inside the jail and additional security for his travels to the court.

The murder came to light in 2015 when he was caught by police while trying to dispose of a country-made pistol and bullets. Three years after Bora's murder, this was his third attempt at getting rid of the 'parcel' which was allegedly given by Mukerjea.

"The police caught me and found the weapon," Rai said, adding that during the interrogation he told them about Sheena Bora's killing.

He confessed about the crime before a magistrate later as he was "remorseful", Rai said.

After his statement, the police arrested Indrani Mukerjea, Sanjeev Khanna and Shyamvar Rai and recovered the remains of Sheena Bora's body from a jungle in Raigad district. Peter Mukerjea was arrested later.

According to the CBI, financial dispute was the reason for Indrani Mukerjea to hatch the conspiracy. Sheena Bora was also in a relationship with Peter Mukerjea's son from earlier marriage, Rahul, which Indrani Mukerjea disapproved of.


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