Jiah Khan case: Trial against Sooraj Pancholi, stayed in lower court, to be resumed
On Thursday, 3 August, the Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court that it has withdrawn the appointment of a special public prosecutor in the case of the death of Bollywood actress Jiah Khan. The trail, which had been stayed in the lower court thus far, will now be resumed, reports The Hindu.
A petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the appointment of special public prosecutor Dinesh Tiwari in the case was heard by a single-judge bench consisting of Justice AK Menon. The reason given for the petition was that since the CBI is the investigating agency, the government should not appoint a prosecutor, and Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni informed the court that this withdrawal would take place.
The plea was dismissed and the court directed that the trial be resumed; it had been stayed due to the challenge. Currently, the lower court is in the process of framing charges against the accused Sooraj Pancholi.
On 25 February 2017, the High Court stayed the trial against Pancholi until it could take a decision regarding the CBI's plea against the appointment of a prosecutor. In May 2016, the state government asked that charges of rape and murder be levied upon Pancholi at the trial court.
On 15 February 2016, the actress' mother Rabia Khan moved the High Court against the CBI report which stated that Jiah Khan had committed suicide, stating that it was rather a case of homicide. This plea was dismissed in February 2017.
Jiah Khan was found dead on 3 June 2013 in her apartment, and Sooraj Pancholi was arrested on the charge of abetment of suicide on 10 June. He was granted bail on 2 July 2013 by the High Court.