Judgment in Jiah Khan Suicide Case Expected on April 28

Almost ten years after she was found dead at her home, a special CBI court in Mumbai is likely to pass its judgment on April 28 in the Bollywood actor Jiah Khan suicide case in which her boyfriend and film star Sooraj Pancholi has been charged for abetment. Special CBI Judge AS Sayyad on Thursday heard the final arguments of both sides and reserved his judgment in the case.

Jiah (25), an American citizen, was found dead at her Juhu home here on June 3, 2013. Police later arrested Sooraj on the basis of a six-page letter, purportedly written by the Bollywood starlet, and booked him for “abetment to suicide”.

The case was reassigned to a special CBI court in 2021 after the sessions court said that it did not have the jurisdiction over the case as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had probed it.

Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan, a key prosecution witness in the case, told the court that she believed it to be a case of murder and not suicide. The Bombay High Court had last year dismissed her petition seeking a fresh investigation into the case.

During her deposition, Rabia had told the CBI court that Sooraj used to subject Jiah to physical and verbal abuse.
Rabia had told the court that neither police nor the CBI had collected any “legal evidence” to prove that her daughter had committed suicide.

Prashant Patil, appearing for Suraj, said, “We concluded the final arguments today (Thursday) on facts as well as on merits in the matter of Sooraj Pancholi versus CBI.”

“We relied upon certain landmark judgments of the honourable Supreme Court as well as high court to point out as to how the current case does not fall under the category of abetment to suicide. Now the matter is listed for passing of final judgment (on April 28),” Patil added.

The actress, best known for her performance in Hindi film ‘Nishabd’ starring Amitabh Bachchan, was found hanging at her residence by her mother.

Pancholi, the son of Bollywood couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, is currently out on bail in the case.

The CBI had alleged that the letter seized by the Mumbai police, which first probed the case on June 10, 2013, was written by Jiah Khan.

The note narrated Jiah Khan’s “intimate relationship, physical abuse and mental and physical torture” allegedly at the hands of Pancholi which led her to commit suicide, the central agency had said.