Jiah Khan’s suicide case took a turn as the Mumbai Sessions Criminal Court finally framed charges against her boyfriend and Bollywood actor Sooraj Pancholi. Sooraj faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted. However, the actor has pleaded not guilty to the crime. The trial is expected to begin on February 14, 2018, and will be a keenly watched trial in Bollywood.
The trial will happen nearly five years after the 25-year-old Jiah was found hanging in the bedroom of her flat in Juhu on June 3, 2013, by her mother Rabia Khan.
Shortly after that, Sooraj was arrested and charged with abetment following complaints by her family and others. He was later released on bail.
Sessions Judge KD Shirbhate on Tuesday framed the charge of abetment to suicide against Sooraj, who was present in the court. It attracts a maximum jail term of 10 years. In January 2014, the Mumbai Police filed a 447-page charge sheet and alleged abetment of suicide.
The CBI said just an hour before committing suicide, Jiah had a tiff with Sooraj. The charge sheet also described in detail the abortion procedure Jiah underwent when she was four weeks pregnant in January 2013. The abortion contributed majorly to Jiah’s depression, according to the charge sheet.
In his statement, the doctor who prescribed the pills to her said two days after consuming the pills, he received a call from Sooraj stating that “half of the stuff “(foetus) was still stuck inside Jiah. The medical reports that have been submitted to the court state that Jiah’s foetus was forcibly pulled out from her body. The CBI said Jiah had mentioned the abortion in her suicide note, which read: “I was scared of getting pregnant but I gave you myself completely. The pain you have caused me every day has destroyed every bit of me. Destroyed my soul and I aborted our baby when it hurt me deeply.”
The US-born Jiah was known for playing significant roles in films like Nishabd, Ghajini, and Housefull with top actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and others.
Sooraj, who was launched in the 2015 Bollywood film Hero, is the son of veteran Bollywood actors Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab.
(With inputs from IANS)