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HC interim stay on trial against Pancholi in Jiah Khan Suicide case

The Bombay High Court granted an interim stay on trial against actor Sooraj Pancholi in the suicide case, following a petition by the victim’s mother against the CBI’s charge sheet terming the death as suicide.

Jiah Khan-AVRabia Khan, mother of Jiah Khan, petitioned the High Court against Central Bureau of Investigation’s report categorising Jiah’s death on June 3, 2013 as suicidal and not homicidal.

A division bench of justices R V More and V L Achiliya stayed trial in the case and directed the CBI to file its affidavit in reply to the petition, in two weeks.

The petition seeks formation of a Special Investigating Team (SIT) and monitoring of the investigation by HC. It pointed out various anomalies in the charge sheet filed by the CBI in December last year.

The petition also seeks directions to enable the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist the SIT as Jiah was a US citizen, and seeks a probe “in the alleged role of erring police officers who have helped the accused by sabotaging the matter”.

Jiah’s boyfriend-actor Sooraj Pancholi was arrested for abetting her suicide on June 10, 2013, but released on July 2 the same year after the HC granted him bail.

The petition alleged that the CBI concluded in a haste that the case was that of suicide, it did not bother to counter-question concerned people, and it did not bother getting important evidence on record.

“The CBI has not concluded the investigation in its real spirit and have closed the investigation without making any serious efforts to unearth the issues as are involved in the death of the deceased. In fact, they have been misleading both the petitioner and the US Consulate about the direction of the investigation,” the petition alleged.

The case was transferred to CBI by HC in July 2014 on Rabia’s petition.

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