A sessions court in Mumbai has framed charges against the actor who has pleaded innocent.
Jiah Khan case: Sooraj Pancholi charged with abetment of suicide
Mumbai - 30 Jan 2018 23:14 IST
Five years after her alleged suicide, the Jiah Khan case is back in the spotlight. A sessions court in Mumbai has charged actor Sooraj Pancholi with abetment of suicide, as reported by the Press Trust of India news agency.
Judge KD Shirbhate framed charges against the 27-year-old actor under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code. Pancholi pleaded not guilty.
“Sooraj pleaded innocence and the examination of witnesses will start from 14 February," the actor's lawyer Prashant Patil told reporters outside the court.
The case has been dragging on for years. After the Bombay high court handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the country's premier criminal investigative agency had ruled out murder in 2016.
Following this, Jiah Khan's mother Rabia sought the help of an international forensic expert, Dr Jason Payne-James, who in his report indicated that Jiah's hanging may have been staged. Based on that report, Rabia Khan alleged that her daughter was murdered.
The matter, however, appeared to be heading nowhere until the sessions court framed charges against Pancholi today. The move comes as a blow to the struggling 27-year-old actor son of film artistes Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab.
According to newspaper reports, Jiah Khan and Sooraj Pancholi were in a troubled relationship. Two days before she allegedly committed suicide on 3 June 2013, the actress is said to have written a letter blaming Pancholi for her ordeal.
Pancholi has denied this allegation and claimed that the letter was perhaps fabricated by Jiah’s mother to implicate him.