28 April 2023 7:03 AM GMT
Nearly a decade after actor Jiah Khan (26) was found dead in her Juhu apartment, a Special CBI Court in Mumbai acquitted her then beau Sooraj Pancholi, charged with. Special Judge AS Sayyad pronounced the judgement, citing "paucity of evidence" in the case. Sooraj is the son of actors Zarina Wahab and Aditya Pancholi. He was arrested on June 10, 2013, seven days after Jiah’s...
Nearly a decade after actor Jiah Khan (26) was found dead in her Juhu apartment, a Special CBI Court in Mumbai acquitted her then beau Sooraj Pancholi, charged with.
Special Judge AS Sayyad pronounced the judgement, citing "paucity of evidence" in the case.
Sooraj is the son of actors Zarina Wahab and Aditya Pancholi. He was arrested on June 10, 2013, seven days after Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan found her hanging in the room. A month later he was granted bail by the Bombay High Court.
On a petition filed by Rabia alleging foul play in her daughter’s death, High Court transferred the investigation to CBI in 2014. The agency filed a chargesheet in 2015 and booked Pancholi with abetment of suicide but ruled out murder.
The prosecution examined 22 witnesses in the case. It is the prosecution’s case that Jiah had left Pancholi’s house on the morning of her alleged suicide on June 3, 2023. The CBI claimed Pancholi had hidden facts and fabricated information during his questioning.
The forensic analysis of Sooraj's statements, which is part of the chargesheet, has "established that Sooraj was concealing relevant information about the actual reason behind the incident and the statement given by him is incomplete and fabricated," the CBI had said.
In his statement under Section 313 of the CrPC Pancholi answered 558 questions. Sooraj vehemently denied he was responsible for Jiah’s death and instead claimed a false case was foisted on him at Rabia’s behest.
The CBI claimed that Pancholi had aided Jiah in terminating her pregnancy six months before her demise, an episode that left her an emotional wreck. However, Sooraj contradicted the doctor’s statement wherein he claimed that abortion was discussed in front of him and further denied helping Jiah pull out half of the foetus that was stuck inside her.
According to the CBI, Pancholi met Rabia on May 18, 2013, and informed her that Khan was suffering from depression and had attempted suicide. He also told Rabia that he wanted some space from Khan as he was about to launch his career.
Rabia said in her deposition that Jiah became a star after her first film Nishabdh released in 2007 and her daughter was making good money in 2012. But Pancholi denied these claims and said the first film didn’t do well.
The actor further denied chatting with Jiah on the Blackberry phone or living in each other's homes. According to a witness statement in the CBI chargesheet, it was Aditya Pancholi who had asked Sooraj to delete all his chats with Jiah.
In court, Sooraj denied texting Jiah and apologising for "losing it at Jiah" and telling her that he loved her more than he loved his mother. He denied having violent fights with her or telling her mother that he wanted to marry Jiah.
Regarding the incident, Pancholi said that later in the night when he heard about Jiah committing suicide, he was in shock and started crying. The court rejected Rabia's plea to recall two witnesses.