- Sooraj Pancholi was acquitted of abetment to suicide charges in the Jiah Khan case due to a lack of evidence.
- Jiah’s mother, Rabia Khan, believes her daughter was murdered and plans to approach the high court.
- Sooraj Pancholi claimed in court that he was falsely accused and had deeply lost the woman he loved.
A special CBI court in Mumbai today acquitted actor Sooraj Pancholi of accusations of aiding and abetting the suicide of Jiah Khan, an actor who died by suicide almost ten years ago. On June 3, 2013, Jiah Khan, 25, was found hanged in her Juhu residence in Mumbai. Based on a six-page letter allegedly written by Jiah, police detained Sooraj Pancholi and charged him with aiding suicide. Rabia Khan, Jiah’s mother, stated that Jiah was murdered.
Sooraj Pancholi, 32, was permitted to step forward by Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Court Judge AS Sayyad, who said, “Due to paucity of evidence, Sooraj Pancholi is acquitted.”
Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab’s son, Sooraj Pancholi, could have been imprisoned for up to 10 years if found guilty. He went to court with his mother for the verdict.
Based on a six-page letter recovered on June 10 that was allegedly written by the 25-year-old, who was found hanging at her home, Jiah Khan, allegedly in a relationship with Sooraj (32), was accused of aiding in her suicide. Mumbai police recovered the letter on June 10, 2013, when their investigation got underway, and according to the Central Bureau of Investigation, Jiah Khan wrote it. Sooraj was detained in June 2013 by the Mumbai Police after being charged with Section 306 (abetment to suicide), and he was later released on bail in July 2013.
Jiah’s mother, Rabia Khan, a key witness for the prosecution in the case, had stated in court that she believed it was a case of murder rather than suicide. Last year, the Bombay High Court denied her request for an additional probe into the matter.
In response to the verdict, she emphasized that her daughter was murdered. “The charge of abetment to suicide has gone. But how did my child die? This is a case of murder…will approach the high court,” she told ANI, adding that the cause of Jiah’s death “has not yet been determined”.
Last week, the judge, AS Sayyad, listened to both sides’ closing arguments before reserving judgement.
According to the central agency, the note detailed Jiah Khan’s alleged “intimate relationship, physical abuse, and mental and physical torture” at the hands of Sooraj Pancholi, which caused her to commit suicide.
On April 12, 2023, during his closing statement to the court, Sooraj Pancholi asserted that he had been falsely accused and was a target of unwarranted prosecution and persecution. He maintained that he was devastated upon learning of Jiah’s passing and expressed, “I had lost the most significant person in my life and the woman whom I loved deeply.”
It’s worth noting that Jiah Khan gained fame for her role in the Hindi film “Nishabd,” co-starring Amitabh Bachchan.