The Bombay High Court today reserved its order on a petition filed by Rabia Khan against CBI’s charge sheet which said the death of her actress daughter Jiah Khan was due to suicide and not homicide. Rabia, in her petition, sought formation of a special investigation team and monitoring of the probe by high court.
In her petition, she claimed her daughter’s death on June 3, 2013 was not suicide as claimed by the CBI, but was homicide. According to Rabia, Jiah was murdered by her then boyfriend-actor Sooraj Pancholi. Rabia’s lawyer today argued before a division bench of justices R V More and Shalini Phansalkar Joshi that the investigating agency’s claim that Jiah had committed suicide, because she was depressed about her career not doing well cannot be accepted.
“In the past, Jiah had done movies with super stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar. Prior to her death, she had signed new movie contracts,” the lawyer said. He further 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, argued that the agency has CCTV footage of a hotel in Juhu, where Sooraj was present on the day of the incident. Rabia, in her petition, further claimed that the injuries on Jiah’s body clearly points out physical abuse. After hearing all the sides, the high court today reserved its order on the petition.
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While hearing the petition in February last year, the high court had stayed the trial against Sooraj. Sooraj had last year filed an intervening application seeking for the stay on the trial to be vacated saying he has every right to face a “free, fair and expeditious trial”. Sooraj, in his application, claimed 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 that year after the HC granted him bail. The case was transferred to CBI by the high court in July 2014 on Rabia’s petition that the police were not investigating it properly.