The Bombay High Court on Monday asked Rabia Khan, mother of former actress Jiah Khan who had allegedly committed suicide in 2013, to file within two weeks a rejoinder in response to a CBI affidavit in the case.
The bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil gave this direction while hearing a petition filed by Rabia seeking a probe by Special Investigation Team (SIT) into Jiah's death. The matter would now be heard after two weeks. Jiah's boyfriend and actor Sooraj Pancholi is facing the charge of abetting the suicide.
The special court had last month adjourned the trial after Rabia moved the high court seeking stay on the trial, pending hearing of her petition demanding the SIT probe.
In her petition in the HC, Rabia sought SIT probe because she alleged that CBI, which is currently investigating the case, had concurred with the findings of Mumbai police that it was a suicide case and not homicidal death. She had earlier moved the Supreme Court seeking a SIT probe, but the apex court had asked her to approach the high court.
"The trial in the lower court is not proceeding in a proper manner and there are likelihood of accused (Sooraj) being discharged in the case," Rabia's petition said.
According to her, the CBI, "due to reasons best known to it", has been vehemently opposing appointment of special public prosecutor in the case by Maharashtra government. Rabia's lawyer Subhash Jha had argued that investigation should be handed over to the SIT as CBI has also in its charge sheet said the death was not homicidal, despite forensic evidence suggesting otherwise.
The actress's mother had petitioned the high court against CBI categorising Jiah's death on June 3, 2013, as suicidal and not homicidal. She prayed for setting up a SIT to probe the case afresh.
Sooraj was arrested on June 10, 2013, for abetting Jiah's suicide, but released on July 2 that year, after the high court granted him bail.
On June 3, 2013, the body of 25-year-old Jiah was found hanging from the ceiling of her house by her mother. According to the charge sheet, Jiah had returned from Sooraj's house that morning, where she had been staying the previous two days.