The Bombay High Court asked Juhu police to explain why it had not included in the chargesheet the text of SMS messages and number of telephone calls received by actor Jiah Khan minutes before her death.
The Court was hearing a petition filed by Rabia Khan, mother of Jiah, demanding a probe by Special Investigating Team or CBI into the actor’s death as she suspected that it was a case of murder and not suicide.
“You (police) must place all the material before the Court and let the Judge decide what to do”, a bench of Justices Naresh Patil and Abhay Thipsay told Additional Public Prosecutor Madhavi Mhatre who represented the State of Maharashtra and Juhu police which is probing the case.
Mhatre sought time to seek instructions from the State and police on their stand for transferring the case to CBI or SIT and why they had not included text of SMS messages and numbers of telephone calls received by Jiah just before she was found dead in her house last year.
The bench posted the matter for hearing on April 7.
In October 2013, Rabia had filed a petition seeking CBI probe but did not press for it as the High Court had asked police to record her statement and probe as if it was a case of murder.
The police had probed on these lines and filed a chargesheet saying it was a suicide case and charged actor Suraj Pancholi, Jiah’s boyfriend, for abatement of suicide.
Senior Counsel Mahesh Jethmalani, on behalf of Rabia, argued that he was asking for a fair and transparent probe.
The police have made out a case as if Jiah was a maniac and in depression and hence she committed suicide. But, circumstances point out that this could be a case of murder, Jethmalani said.
He argued that two days before her death, Jiah had returned from Hyderabad after bagging a role in a film. It is very unlikely that she would commit suicide.
53-year-old Rabia has cited circumstances which point out that Jiah was allegedly killed. Air-condition of Jiah’s bedroom was on but windows were open when she was found dead. Also, there is no explanation as to how Jiah reached the ceiling fan to hang herself when there was no stool in house.
Blaming Suraj for her daughter’s death, Rabia said she had carried out a sting operation of few witnesses who said in an audio recording that they had not told police what had been recorded in their statements, thereby doubting the police version that Jiah had committed suicide.