The Bombay high court on Thursday rejected the plea filed by Rabia Khan — mother of late actor Jiah Khan — seeking that a special investigation team (SIT) be constituted to probe the case of her daughter’s death.
A bench of justices Ranjit More and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi ruled that there was no need to interfere with the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) probe. A detailed order of the bench is likely to be made public by Thursday evening.
In light of the order, the intervention application filed by actor Sooraj Pancholi — Jiah’s then boyfriend — is fruitless. Pancholi had filed the application seeking that he be heard as the trial court is yet to frame charges on the basis of the CBI charge sheet.
Jiah’s body was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her home on June 3, 2013. The police had charged Pancholi with having abetted her suicide.
A year later, following a plea filed by Rabia, another bench of the high court had transferred the probe into her daughter’s death to the CBI.
After the CBI concluded that Jiah had committed suicide, Rabia approached the high court again. She said her daughter’s death was a homicide and the case must be probed by an SIT. She alleged that Pancholi was behind Jiah’s death.
Last week, Rabia’s counsel submitted photographs of Jiah’s corpse, the post-mortem report, and another report comprising comments of ‘expert medical professionals from the United Kingdom’, who had stated that nature of injuries on Jiah’s body suggested the possibility of homicide.
He argued that the CBI had overlooked facts such as the location of Pancholi’s mobile phone and the injuries on Jiah’s neck that couldn’t have resulted from hanging.
Rabia urged the court to be considerate, saying “her family had been suffering for more than three years.” She added that the CBI has a bad record and had completely botched the case.
The CBI had argued that it had probed Jiah’s death thoroughly. In its affidavit, the agency cited forensic and medical reports in support of its claim that Jiah had committed suicide.
In light of Rabia’s plea, the trial court was yet to take cognisance of the CBI charge sheet. The high court’s order means that the trial can now proceed on the basis of this charge sheet.