On Monday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) ruled out murder in the case of actress Jiah Khan’s death. Rabia Khan, Jiah Khan’s mother, earlier filed a plea to launch a CBI probe into her death. Informing the Bombay High Court of its decision, the CBI scheduled the next hearing of the High Court on 23 August.
Jiah Khan was a Bollywood actress known for her roles in Hindi movies Ghajini and Housefull. On 3 June, 2015, she was found dead in her apartment in Mumbai. Since then, the death case has undergone many developments.
Initially suspected to be a suicide, further investigations pointed towards the involvement of Bollywood actor Sooraj Panchali, who was then dating the actress. On 7 June, the police recovered a note written by the actress talking about her troubled relationship with the actor. Following further investigations, Sooraj Pancholi was arrested on charges of abetting her suicide on 10 June, 2013, – a week after her death.
Sooraj Panchali was granted interim bail by the High Court after a month. In October 2013, the actress’ mother, Rabia Khan, filed a plea to initiate a CBI probe into the death. Following that, in July 2014, the Bombay High Court asked CBI to start a probe. Based on their investigations, the CBI on 2 August, 2016, told the Bombay High Court that it was a clear case of suicide, and not murder. The court has also extended the interim stay on the trial court proceedings against Sooraj Pancholi.
Rabia Khan, devastated by this turn of events, told ToI, “The CBI’s version was appalling. I will not rest till the truth is out. I made it very clear that I am not here to waste mine or the court’s time. If need be, I will go to the Supreme Court to get justice for my daughter”.
Rabia Khan alleging that her death was a murder, demanded the CBI to explain the bruises found on her arm, and to recover the deleted phone records. “The two prime evidences in a death case are the dead body and the victim’s cell phone,” she said. She also brought attention to numerous discrepancies in the charge-sheet filed by the CBI. The court has directed her to sumbit a list of these anomalies.
Meanwhile, Sooraj Panchali’s lawyer said, “We cannot take a stand on this case because it is between Rabia and the CBI and does not involve us. It is sad because my client has a right to a free and fair trial. All we want is the process to be expedited”.