A court in Mumbai has started the trial of actor Sooraj Pancholi, accused of abetting the suicide of actress Jiah Khan. The trial began at a sessions court on Wednesday and posted the next hearing for February 21. On June 3, 2013, actor Sooraj Pancholi was booked under the Indian Penal Code for abetment of the actress’ suicide and is currently on bail granted by the Bombay High Court. Following a plea by Jiah Khan’s mother Rabiya Khan, the Bombay High Court transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in July 2014. According to Rabiya, the Mumbai police was not investigating the matter properly.
In the charge sheet, the CBI said that the body of Jiah– best known for her role in the movie Nishabd opposite to Amitabh Bachchan– was found hanging at her residence in Andheri by her mother Rabiya Khan on June 3, 2013. CBI also alleged that the actor hid some certain facts, and provided fabricated information when questioned. In the three-page unsigned letter seized by the agency, the actress had narrated her íntimate relationship with Sooraj and the ‘physical and mental torture’she faced at his hands. As per reports, the court has asked the prosecution to submit the names of his witnesses so that summons can be issued to them.
Sooraj Pancholi is the son of actor-couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab and had made his debut in Bollywood with the movie Hero opposite to Athiya Shetty. Jiah Khan reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at approximately 11:45 pm in the bedroom of her Juhu family’s residence in Mumbai on 3 June 2013. On 7 June 2013, a six-page suicide note was found by her sister that reportedly indicates that Jiah planned to end her life and a transcript that mentioning a recent abortion was also released by the family.