Jiah Khan suicide case: High court stays trial after CBI opposes prosecutor’s appointment
Mumbai city news: The court ordered the advocate-general to present himself at the next hearing to explain if the government can appoint a special prosecutor in a case where the prosecuting agency is the CBImumbai Updated: Jun 19, 2017 22:46 IST
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Monday stayed the trial against actor Sooraj Pancholi in the Jiah Khan suicide case till it takes a decision on the plea filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) challenging the state government’s decision to appoint a special public prosecutor in the case.
Pancholi is facing trial on the charge of abetting the suicide of his actor-girlfriend Jiah Khan.
The court ordered the advocate-general to present himself at the next hearing to explain if the government can appoint a special prosecutor in a case where the prosecuting agency is the CBI.
The CBI, through its counsel Hiten Venegaonkar, has opposed the appointment of Dinesh Tiwari as the special public prosecutor (SSP) on the ground that the agency already has its designated counsels, and more importantly, that Tiwari’s appointment led to a “conflict of interest” since he had earlier represented Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan in the HC
As Rabia’s counsel, Tiwari had raised questions on the CBI’s inquiry.
On November 6, 2015, a month before the CBI filed its supplementary charge sheet in the case, the state law and judiciary department had notified Tiwari’s appointment as the SPP.
Earlier, Rabia Khan too had written to the state government, urging that Tiwari be given charge as the SPP in the trial court.
Jiah Khan’s body was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her house on June 3, 2013. The police had charged her then boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi of abetting her suicide.
A year later, following a plea filed by Rabia, another bench of the HC transferred the probe to the CBI. While the CBI concluded that Jiah Khan committed suicide, Rabia approached the HC again, claiming that her daughter’s death was homicidal and that it be probed by an SIT.
HC however, dismissed the plea.