Sooraj Pancholi hits back at 'new findings' in Jiah Khan death case

The latest findings of the Jiah Khan case, by a UK based investigator, suggest her hanging might have been staged. Meanwhile, Sooraj Pancholi has stepped out calling for the 'media trial' to end.

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Shriram Iyengar

A UK based forensic expert, Jason Payne-James, has brought out new findings in the Jiah Khan death case which might change the direction of the investigation. Hired by Jiah's mother, Rabya Khan, Payne-James has suggested that there could be more to the case than a simple case of suicide. This allegation might prove most damaging to Sooraj Pancholi, who had been charged with abetment last December.

Ever since Jiah's death in June 2013, there have been numerous conspiracy theories floating around. It led to the arrest of actor Pancholi, who was then dating the actress. However, the CBI report clearly ruled out any foul play in the matter. Unconvinced, Jiah's mother Rabya hired her own team of private investigators. Pancholi expressed a feeling of being unfairly targeted.

Speaking to The Times of India newspaper, he said, "My case has been a media trial since day one. Things have been in the papers before reaching the court, and sometimes in the papers without the court being aware. But enough is enough, if someone wants justice, they will get it in due time. I hope they get justice, even I want to know what the truth is. People should understand that even I have lost a dear one." 

The actor made his debut in Hindi cinema last year, opposite Athiya Shetty, in Hero (2015). Pancholi speculated that the case is just another excuse for people to damage his film career. He said, "We haven't gone against what they are saying, but we have been patiently waiting for over three years for the trial to begin. Like everyone else, I too deserve a fair trial. I don't know why, in my case, things are told to the media before the court. Why not wait for the court to decide the final verdict? They are trying to brainwash people and portray me as a criminal, which is not true."

However, the actor holds no grudges against Jiah's family. He said, "I understand what they are going through, but this is not the way to conduct a court case, by leading the court and the people of the country to think differently."

Then, there is the question of whether these findings by a private forensic expert could be admissible in court. Regardless, the actor simply wants the case to find a conclusion soon. He said, "I want this pain to end for both sides. I don't have any hard feelings for anyone. I just want a fair trial and live my life after that. This has stretched for too long."

The findings in the case will be submitted in the Mumbai sessions court today. If accepted, the proceedings will resume again.