A sessions court charged Bollywood actor Sooraj Pancholi with abetment of actress Jiah Khan's suicide in 2013. Pancholi pleaded not guilty while being booked as per Section 306 (Abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code. The trial will begin next month.
Juhu Police which initially probed the case and the Central Bureau of Investigation, the current investigating agency, both said that Pancholi can be booked only as per 306 on the basis of evidence. The case has been adjourned to February 14.
The CBI said the three-page note written by Jiah that was seized by the Mumbai Police narrated ''intimate relationship, physical abuse and mental and physical torture'' by Pancholi which led her to end life. The agency also said that Pancholi had ''hidden facts and fabricated information'' during interrogation.
The court began hearing arguments in 2016 and asked regular court prosecutor to frame charges after there was no clarity on special public prosecutor. The prosecutor had then sought that the actor be charged under various section including that of murder and rape.
According to the CBI, Jiah's mother Rabia Khan found her hanging at her residence on June 3, 2013. Her mother claimed that Jiah had not committed suicide but was killed. She sought that Pancholi be booked under murder charges. A week after Jiah's suicide on June 10, Pancholi was arrested but was soon granted bail by the High Court.
Jiah Khan made a strong debut with Nishabd, opposite Amitabh Bachchan and went on to work in Ghajini and Housefull. Sooraj made Bollywood debut with Nikhil Advani's Hero in 2015. The movie tanked at the box office.
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