Jiah Khan case: Trial against Sooraj stayed for two weeks

The Bombay High Court on Thursday deferred the trial against Bollywood actor Sooraj Pancholi in the Jiah Khan case. Sooraj is accused of abetting the suicide of the late actress.

Hearing a petition filed by Jiah’s mother Rabia pointing out flaws in the CBI report filed in December 2015, a division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice V L Achliya stayed the trail for two weeks. It also asked the CBI to place its stand before the court by March 10.

"Since the grievance made by the petitioner is under the consideration of this court, we direct the sessions judge to defer the hearing till the next date," the order stated.

Earlier this month, Rabia had filed a petition in the High Court alleging that CBI’s report that Jiah’s death was a suicide and not homicide, was not correct. She also sought the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the monitoring of the investigation by the High Court.

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

CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar opposed the plea on the grounds that FBI was a foreign agency and it cannot be allowed to probe here. He further said that the claims of the alleged inaccuracies made by the petitioner have been dealt with by CBI before filing of the charges against the accused.

Jiah was found hanging in her room on June 3, 2013. Her then boyfriend actor Sooraj Pancholi was arrested on June 10, 2013 for allegedly abetting her suicide. But he was released on July 2 after the High Court granted him bail. After a petition by Rabia, the case was handed over to the CBI by the High Court in July 2014.

The charges in the trial court are yet to the framed.