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Charge sheet has little to nail Sooraj in Jiah Khan case

CBI says actress’ suicide note “incriminates Sooraj Pancholi only” but most of the evidence against him is circumstantial or anecdotal

mumbai Updated: Dec 12, 2015 00:38 IST
Jiah Khan,Sooraj Pancholi,Suicide
Sooraj Pancholi (left) with father Aditya. (HT file photo)

The supplementary charge sheet that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed in the 2013 death of actress Jiah Khan on Friday charges her boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi with abetting her suicide, but contains little substance to nail Pancholi.

A three-page note Jiah wrote before she hanged herself was examined by a handwriting expert, who confirmed the letter was written by the actress herself. The CBI charge sheet says the letter, which contains details of an intimate relationship and the mental and physical abuse she experienced was “not signed by Jiah Khan or addressed to Sooraj Pancholi”. But it goes on to say, “… however, evidences on hand suggest that this note incriminates Sooraj Pancholi only”. The charge sheet also focuses on the abortion Jiah mentioned in her note, in which she wrote, “I was scared of getting pregnant but I gave you myself completely. The pain you have caused me every day has destroyed every bit of me, destroyed my soul and I aborted our baby when it hurt me deeply.”

The charge sheet also mentions a report from a forensic psychological assessment conducted on Sooraj, which states, “It indicates that he is concealing the relevant information about the actual reason for the incident… it may be inferred that Sooraj Pancholi is hiding some relevant information related to the death/suicide of Jiah Khan and did not want to disclose some content of his last argument with deceased that may be a cause of her death/suicide.” The CBI has also put on record that the actor refused to undergo other forensic tests, such as a polygraph (lie-detector) test, a brain mapping test and a narco analysis (truth serum) test.

The charge sheet also contains an anecdote from a certain Maneka Harsinghani, who told the CBI that Jiah had once told her that Sooraj had beaten her up. Harsinghani, the charge sheet says, “once went to the residence of Jiah Khan to dress her up for some programme. She saw some injured (sic) marks on the neck and shoulders of Jiah Khan. When she asked about that Jiah Khan told that they were the marks of beating by Sooraj Pancholi”.

The CBI’s investigation has also revealed Jiah was treated by Dr Rahul Datta, a psychologist, over seven sessions (from May 31, 2008 to July 2, 2008) for mental stress while she was in relationship with Jaydeep, her secretary. She visited him again for a similar problem on February 2, 2012 but did not say who or what was causing her stress and depression.

First Published: Dec 12, 2015 00:38 IST