Mumbai: "Whether actor Jiah Khan committed suicide or was murdered..... the truth must come out," observed the Bombay High Court today while hearing a petition filed by her mother Rabia Khan alleging that she was killed and demanding tranfer of the probe from Mumbai police to CBI.
A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode asked government pleader Purnima Kantharia to furnish a brief on investigations done in the case on July 3 so that the matter can be finally decided.
The court also raised queries about whether the actor had consumed liquor and, if yes, in what quantity before she was found dead at her home almost a year ago. The Judges also sought to know about the injury marks found on her chin and other parts of the body.
Rabia, in her petition, has alleged Jiah was murdered and had not committed suicide as claimed by police. She has produced forensic and medical evidence from private experts to support her claim that it was a case of murder.
Rabia, who had demanded a probe by a Special Investigating Team or CBI into the actor's death, however, today pressed for investigation to be handed over to the central agency.
The government pleader submitted that Rabia had met Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria and briefed him about the evidence she had gathered. The police chief had decided to form an SIT as suggested by the court but Rabia wrote to police saying such a team would serve no purpose.
Rabia's lawyer Subhash Jha contended the SIT would comprise officials from Mumbai police, who had already concluded the case to one of suicide, and hence investigations would not unravel the truth.
Police have already charge-sheeted newbie actor Suraj Pancholi, son of Bollywood actors Aditya Pancholi and Zareena Wahab, accusing him of abetting Jiah's suicide. According to the prosecution, the two were in a relationship which later soured.
Rabia said she wanted to know the truth and the cause of her daughter's death to come out. She had procured evidence from private forensic experts which suggested that Jiah did not take her life by hanging from the ceiling fan at her home, as claimed in the investigation, but was murdered.