The verdict in the high-profile Jiah Khan suicide case is expected to be announced by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai on Friday. Jiah Khan, an actor, was found dead in her suburban home in Mumbai on June 3, 2013. Actor Suraj Pancholi, son of actors Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, had been accused of abetting Jiah Khan’s suicide.
Suraj Pancholi was charged with abetment to suicide based on a six-page letter purportedly written by Jiah Khan, which was seized by Mumbai police that began its investigation on June 10, 2013. According to the CBI, the letter, allegedly written by Jiah Khan, narrated her “intimate relationship, physical abuse, and mental and physical torture” allegedly at the hands of Suraj Pancholi, which led to her committing suicide.
The case was reassigned to a special CBI court in 2021 after the sessions court said it did not have jurisdiction over the case as the CBI had probed it. Last week, special CBI Judge AS Sayyad reserved his judgment in the case after hearing the final arguments of both sides.
Rabia Khan, Jiah Khan’s mother and a key prosecution witness in the case had told the court that she believed it was a case of murder and not suicide. However, the Bombay High Court dismissed her plea seeking a fresh probe into the case last year.
During her deposition, Rabia Khan alleged that Suraj Pancholi subjected Jiah Khan to physical and verbal abuse. She also alleged that the police and CBI had not collected legal evidence to prove her daughter had committed suicide.
Suraj Pancholi, in his final statement filed before the court, claimed that the investigation and chargesheet were false, adding that prosecution witnesses had testified against him on the behest of complainant Rabia Khan, police, and CBI.