A local court had yesterday extended till September 7 the police custody of former television executive Indrani Mukerjea, wife of media baron Peter Mukerjea, and two other accused - her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and former driver Shayamvar Rai.

Indrani, Khanna and Rai have been arrested in the case pertaining to the murder of her daughter Sheena and the disposal of the body in a Raigad forest in April 2012.

Requesting the court to grant extension of the custody of the accused, Special Public Prosecutor Vaibhav Bagade had yesterday said, "It may appear 'filmi' but we need to find out why this particular place was chosen to dump the body."

Indrani was not cooperating with the investigators and was a "hard nut to crack", police had told the court even as forensic results of the samples of skeletal remains found in Raigad forest are awaited. Police had claimed on Thursday that Indrani had confessed to murdering Sheena.

Investigators are also probing if someone else too was involved in the alleged murder conspiracy. Indrani, who was produced in the court yesterday, remained calm and composed through the hearing. Policemen formed barricades inside the court room to keep the crowd in check.

Bagade had added that investigators required more time to probe payments made by Indrani and Khanna through different bank accounts. They are also looking to recover her credit card.

The alleged plan to kill Mikhail, Sheena's brother, was hatched in Kolkata, police said. Indrani's lawyer, Gunjan Mangla, has accused police of conducting a media trial and also charged that there was no basis to the police assertion that Indrani could tamper with evidence.

"Police are trying to get statements out of the accused. They are manipulating the whole thing. She is not a hardened criminal," Mangla said.

Meanwhile, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Rebeiro criticised the media coverage of the case and asked Bombay High Court to issue a notice to all TV channels over the way the case is being covered.

"The course of justice has to be decided by investigators, prosecution and judges. Channels are taking over the role of police, prosecutor and judges. That is perversion of justice. The case cannot be decided by channels, and there has to be a fair trial," Ribeiro said.

"The scope of the probe is large and the accused is a hard nut to crack. They have used modern tools like email and Internet to plan the murder. The progress shown in investigation is already on record and the police have not wasted a single day," Bagade had said.

"Her custody is for a short period considering the vastness of the investigation. We need to know who else helped her and her emails need to be studied," he had added.

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