Fresh trouble for Sooraj Pancholi in actress Jiah Khan’s death case after a Mumbai session court on Tuesday framed charges against the actor under section 306 (abetting suicide) of Indian Penal Code (IPC). The actress was found hanging in her room at her Mumbai residence by her mother Rabiya on the night of June 3, 2013. Prior to that, she had been staying at Pancholi’s house for two days and had returned to her apartment the same morning of the suicide.
In her suicide note, the actress had blamed Sooraj behind her decision to take the extreme step. However, in October 2013, Jiah’s mother had moved the Bombay High Court and sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the case while alleging that her daughter didn’t commit suicide but had been murdered.
Jiah’s mother had sought a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe which was rejected by the Bombay High Court but the case then went to the CBI from the Maharashtra Police in July 2014 upon court’s order. Four years later, Judge K D Shirbhate, of the sessions court, framed charges against the 27-year- old actor, to which he pleaded not guilty.
“Sooraj pleaded innocence and the examination of witnesses will start from February 14,” his lawyer Prashant Patil said. According to the CBI, Pancholi had “hidden facts and fabricated information” during questioning and had also refused to undergo polygraph or brain-mapping tests which the agency wanted to conduct to help the investigation. The CBI also said that the Mumbai Police, which was earlier probing the case, had seized a three page note that was written by Khan narrating her “intimate relationship, physical abuse and mental and physical torture” allegedly at the hands of Pancholi which led her to commit suicide.
(Inputs from agencies)