The abetment to suicide case against actor Sooraj Pancholi for the death of actress Jiah Khan, has been reassigned to a special CBI court. On Tuesday, the first hearing was held in the case. Last month, a sessions court said that it did not have the jurisdiction over the case as the CBI had investigated in it. In Tuesday’s session, the actor’s lawyers and CBI reportedly told the special court that they had argued over a plea filed by the agency to further examine some evidence. The special CBI court reportedly asked the parties to present their arguments on August 21.
According to a report in Indian Express, in 2019, the CBI had filed a plea requesting to send evidence to different agencies. They plead to send the dupatta used by Jiah to Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Chandigarh and their cellphones to the FBI in USA to retrieve deleted messages. Sooraj’s lawyers had opposed the plea on the grounds that a similar plea made by Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan was dismissed by the Bombay High Court.
In a previous interview Sooraj had said that he is a ‘little satisfied,’ that his case is going to a special CBI court. Talking to Bombay Times, he said, “I am a little satisfied with this because my case should have been in the special CBI Court from the beginning. Now that the matter is in the CBI Court, I am hopeful that we will see closure to this. If the court finds me guilty, I should be penalised, but if it doesn’t, I deserve to be set free from these charges.”
Jiah Khan, who was known for films such as Nishabd, Ghajini and Housefull was found dead at her residence in June 3, 2013. Sooraj was arrested in abetment charges on June 10 but released a month later on bail. He has been on trial since 2019.