Bombay HC orders CBI to probe Jiah Khan’s death
The Bombay High Court today handed over to CBI the probe into Bollywood actress Jiah Khan’s death, five months after Mumbai police concluded it was a case of suicide
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today handed over to CBI the probe into Bollywood actress Jiah Khan’s death, five months after Mumbai police concluded it was a case of suicide and charged her live-in partner Suraj Pancholi with abetting it.
The 25-year-old British-American actress was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her Juhu home on June 3 last year.
Noting that they wanted the truth to emerge, a division bench of justices V M Kanade and P D Kode directed CBI to take over the case from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Mumbai police immediately and carry out further probe.
The order was passed on a petition filed by Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan, who had raised strong suspicions about her daughter’s death being a case of murder and not suicide, as claimed by police in its charge sheet filed in January this year.
The court, while handing over the case to CBI, said it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of investigation done by the police. The judges made it clear that they were not finding fault with Juhu Police who had probed the case.
The court had earlier asked the state and police to form an SIT to probe whether it was a case of murder as Rabia had disputed the investigations by producing forensic evidence privately obtained by her to indicate that her daughter could have been killed.
However, SIT did not begin the probe as Rabia had objected to the investigating team having the same officers who had conducted the probe earlier.
The court today said that it was handing over the case to CBI because SIT had the same officers who had probed it earlier and also as Rabia had produced reports of forensic experts to indicate that there was lacuna in the probe.
The Judges also asked the police and the state to extend logistical support and other help required by CBI to carry out further probe.
Juhu police had in January filed a charge sheet in the case, accusing Suraj, son of actors couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, of abetting Jiah’s suicide. Suraj had a live-in relationship with Jiah and had allegedly sent a “break up” bouquet to her which prompted her to take the extreme step, police had claimed in the charge sheet.