The Bombay High Court yesterday stayed the trial against actor Sooraj Pancholi, accused of abetting actress Jiah Khan’s suicide, and set aside June 7 as the next date on which it will hear a petition filed by the Jiah’s mother Rabia seeking Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the case. A vacation bench comprising Justices BR Gavai and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi stayed the trail.
On May 20, the special women’s court had adjourned the trial till June 10 after Rabia sought to move Bombay High Court seeking stay in the trial following the pending hearing of her petition.
In her petition before the HC, Rabia sought SIT probe alleging that CBI, which is presently investigating the case, had concurred with the findings of Mumbai police that it was a suicide case and not homicidal death.
According to Rabia, CBI, ‘due to reasons best known to it’, has been vehemently opposing the appointment of special public prosecutor in the case by Maharashtra government.
“The High Court yesterday accepted our arguments that earlier also the trial was stayed in the case by the regular bench of HC, but later refused to extend the stay. Following this, Rabia approached the Supreme Court which on May 17 asked her to once again petition before the high court and asked it to expedite the matter,” said Subhash Jha, Rabia’s advocate.
He added that investigation be handed over to the SIT because despite forensic evidence suggesting otherwise, the CBI in its charge sheet stated that Jiah’s death was not homicidal.