Did Indrani Mukerjea fall ill after eating outside the jail?

Did Indrani Mukerjea, a former media baron who faces a murder trial for killing her daughter Sheena Bora and also booked for irregularities in the INX Media deal, overdose on anti-depressant pills outside the jail?

The question has come up after the jail authorities claimed they did not give Mukerjea the anti-depressant that was found in her urine sample. “After the ruckus and death of Manjula Shetye in Byculla prison, Indrani was shifted to a different barrack with two inmates. We maintain a diary to keep track of the quantity, the time and name of the person who administered medicines to her,” said a senior jail official, requesting anonymity. “On Friday, Mukerjea was given half-a-tablet by a nurse, who ensured she had the medicine in front of her in the jail office. Mukerjea has a blood clot in her head because of which we don’t give her any anti-depressant.”

An inquiry by the jail authorities found Indrani had food from outside when she attended her trial in the city civil and sessions court on Friday. “We have recorded the statement of two jail officials and two inmates as part of the probe. The inmates told us that Mukerjea had told them not to wait for her to have food as she was going to eat outside,” said the officer.

The officer said they plan to record statements of three other jail officials, including the team that escorts her to the court, to check if she ate from outside. Mukerjea has, so far, not filed an application in the court to have home-cooked food. “Eating within the court premises raises questions on the security of undertrials,” said police sources.

Refusing to comment, Rajvardhan Sinha, inspector general of police (prisons), who is heading the inquiry, said, “We have sent a request to JJ Hospital to record Mukerjea’s statement. We will decide the course of action after we get the statement and her discharge report.”

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