Sooraj Pancholi appears in court in Jiah Khan’s suicide case

Aditya Pancholi and Jiah Khan’s son Sooraj Pancholi has been charged with abetting Jiah Khan’s suicide and Sooraj appeared in court for the trail on Wednesday.

"Suraj, son of actor couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, appeared before the court and the court adjourned the case till next month," said advocate Dinesh Tiwari who is appearing in the case on behalf of Jiah's mother Rabiya.

A 447-page charge sheet was presented on court by Suburban police on January 16 and following which the metropolitan magistrate's court in suburban Andheri, transferred the case to the sessions court for trial.

The chargesheet included statements of witnesses and forensic evidence reports. Accordingly there are 22 witnesses in the case, including a doctor who helped Jiah in an abortion, a florist, a Pancholi home servant, Jiah’s building watchman and Sooraj’s friends.

Unsatisfied with the way the case was being handled, Rabiya Khan, Jiah’s mother had filed a petition according to which she had alleged murder and wanted CBI to take over the probe. Rabiya had states that ‘she had strong reasons to suspect that the probe was carried out by police in a manner to look as if it was a suicide’. Sooraj had been arrested earlier on basis of a six-page letter allegedly written by Jiah herself. At that time, Aditya Pancholi had stated that his son was at another place during the time of the suicide.  Reacting to Rabia Khan’s allegations, Aditya Pancholi had said, ‘We know what Jiah’s mother is implying and why she is doing what she is doing. Sooraj is not the scared child that he was when Jiah’s suicide toppled his world over.’

According to the chargesheet, murder has been ruled out, although there is an ‘abetment to suicide’ clause. Rabia Khan and Jiah’s lawyer Dinesh Tiwari have expressed unhappiness as they expected more from the chargesheet. According to them, The Bombay High Court had asked the police to record Rabia’s statement and handle the case on basis of that, procuring witness statements and evidence. However, the chargesheet does not contain that, according to them, but only Rabia’s statement. They are planning to approach the High Court against the chargesheet and hold a press conference on this issue.

Although Sooraj and his father were present in court during the filing of the chargesheet, they have not reported any statement or reaction. Sooraj’s lawyer, Shreya Shrivastava said, ‘A copy of the chargesheet was handed over to Sooraj in court. The matter was committed to the sessions court and the next hearing is on February 12.’

Jiah Khan was found hanging at her Juhu residence on June 3, 2013. She was 25 years old at that time.