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Jiah Khan Suicide Case: Sooraj Pancholi Acquitted Of Abetment Charges

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Mumbai: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai on Friday acquitted actor Sooraj Pancholi of abetment charges in the Jiah Khan suicide case.

“Due to paucity of evidence, this court can’t hold you (Sooraj Pancholi) guilty, hence acquitted,” said Judge AS Sayyed of a special CBI court.

Last week, judge Sayyad reserved judgment in the case after hearing final arguments from both sides.

Twenty-five-year-old Jiah Khan was found dead at her Juhu home on June 3, 2013. Sooraj Pancholi was arrested by the police for allegedly abetting her suicide under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 306.

Sooraj Pancholi is currently out on bail. The CBI, which took over the investigation from the Mumbai police, alleged that a letter seized by the latter was written by Jiah Khan and described her physical and mental torture allegedly at the hands of Sooraj Pancholi.

The case was reassigned to a special CBI court in 2021, after the sessions court declined jurisdiction.

Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan, a key prosecution witness, believes it to be a murder case, but her petition for a fresh investigation was dismissed by the Bombay High Court last year.

During her deposition, Rabia Khan alleged physical and verbal abuse of Jiah by Sooraj Pancholi and criticised the lack of legal evidence to support the suicide theory.

Sooraj Pancholi denied the charges against him and claimed that the investigation and charge-sheet were false.

Timeline of Jiah Khan’s suicide case

  • June 3, 2013: Jiah Khan’s body was found in flat number 102 of Sagar Sangeet Society in Mumbai.
  • June 7, 2013: Mumbai police recovered a six-page suicide note from Jiah’s house.
  • June 10, 2013: Sooraj Pancholi was arrested by the Juhu police after allegations of abetting Jiah for suicide.
  • July 2, 2013: The Bombay High Court granted bail to Suraj Pancholi and he got released after spending 22 days in jail.
  • October 2013: Jiah’s mother, Rabia Khan, moved to the Bombay High Court demanding a CBI probe.
  • July 2014: The case was handed over to the CBI.
  • December 2015: The CBI submitted a report before the court and termed the case as an abetment to suicide. A few days later, Rabia demanded for an SIT to probe the matter.
  • February 2017: The High Court rejected the demand for the formation of SIT.
  • 2018: The trial court also rejected Rabia’s demand for further investigation.
  • March 15, 2019: The trial began in the Jiah Khan case.
  • 2021: The case was reassigned to the Special CBI Court because the sessions court said that the jurisdiction of the CBI case was not with the sessions court.
  • March 21, 2023: The government side closed its case with the statement of 21 witnesses.
  • April 20, 2023: Both sides presented their final arguments, after which the court fixed April 28 to announce the verdict.

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