Mumbai : The Bombay High Court today dismissed a petition filed by Rabia Khan, mother of late actor Jiah Khan, challenging the CBI’s charge sheet terming Jiah’s death as suicide and not homicide, paving the way for trial to commence against Sooraj Pancholi in the case.
Actor Sooraj Pancholi is charged with abetment of Jiah’s suicide. A division bench of Justices R V More and Shalini Pahansalkar-Joshi today dismissed the petition. The bench also said that the intervening application filed by Pancholi does not survive and hence, it too stands dismissed.
The high court’s dismissal of Rabia’s petition paves way for trial to commence against Sooraj before a lower court. The HC had earlier stayed the trial pending hearing of Rabia’s petition. According to Rabia, Jiah was allegedly murdered by her then boyfriend-actor Sooraj Pancholi.
Rabia, in her petition, had sought formation of a special investigation team and monitoring of the investigation by high court. She said that her daughter’s death on June 3, 2013, was not suicidal, as claimed by CBI, but was homicidal.
Her lawyer had earlier told HC that the investigating agency’s claim that Jiah had committed suicide because she was depressed about her career not doing well cannot be accepted. He had also argued that Sooraj’s alibi that he was not present at Jiah’s residence at the time of the incident is fabricated.
CBI counsel Anil Singh, however, had argued that the agency has CCTV footage of a hotel in Juhu where Sooraj was present on the day of the incident. Rabia had in her petition also claimed that the injuries on Jiah’s body clearly point out to physical abuse.
Sooraj had last year filed an intervening application seeking for stay on the trial to be vacated saying he has every right to face a “free, fair and expeditious trial”. He had claimed in his application that the petitioner (Rabia) has concealed vital information pertaining to Jiah’s disturbed childhood and also the fact that she (Jiah) had attempted to kill herself when she was young.
Sooraj was arrested for abetting Jiah’s suicide on June 10, 2013, but released on July 2 the same year after the HC granted him bail. The case was transferred to CBI by HC in July 2014 on Rabia’s petition that police was not probing it properly.
Rabia had sought SIT probe alleging that CBI, which is currently investigating the case, had concurred with the findings of Mumbai police that it was a case of suicide and not a homicide.