Sooraj not solely responsible for Jiah's suicide, HC

On 1st July, Bombay High Court listened to the petition filed by the aspiring actor Sooraj Pancholi and granted him bail for a surety of Rs.50,000 and has asked Sooraj to deposit his passport with the Juhu Police. He has also been instructed to report to Juhu Police every alternate day.

High court has observed that Sooraj cannot be ‘held solely responsible’ for the suicide of late actress Jiah Khan.

Justice Sadhna S. Jadhav believes that Sooraj’s further detention was not necessary. Jadhav said, “No doubt, it is an unfortunate incident that a young girl has committed suicide. It appears that she was the victim for her sentiments. She could not overcome her emotions. The application cannot be held solely responsible for the same.”

Justice also said, “The deceased (Jiah) could have always walked out of the relationship. She could not overcome her sentiments and her love for the applicant (Sooraj), for which he cannot be held responsible. He was also pursuing his career in acting and admittedly could not devote sufficient time for the deceased.”

The court though said its comments were “prima facie in nature” and limited to the bail application and “shall not be considered in any other proceeding or at the time of the trial.”

The court said, “It cannot be said that on 3. 6. 2013 (June 3, the day of Jiah’s suicide), he had acted in any manner which could reflect a mens rea (motive) that he wanted her to commit suicide and therefore in the absence of any mens rea, instigation or aid, it cannot be said that the applicant had driven her to commit suicide that day.”

The court reminded that earlier also Jiah had once tried to commit suicide while she was depressed. That time, Sooraj had only helped her to come out of her depression.

On the issue of letter found from Jiah’s residence, court said that ‘it was not addressed to anybody’ and that ‘it never reached Sooraj’.

Sooraj was arrested on 10th June after Jiah’s family handed over a six page letter allegedly written by the late actress. He was charged with ‘abetting to suicide’. Since then Sooraj was in police custody. He had earlier appealed in 2 sessions court for his bail but both the lower courts rejected his bail plea.

Jiah committed suicide on 3rd June. She hanged herself in her residence.