The Supreme Court today refused to stay the trial court proceedings against Bollywood actor Sooraj Pancholi in the Jiah Khan suicide case and asked her mother to approach the Bombay High Court with her fresh plea seeking relief including an SIT probe into the incident. Rabia Khan, the mother of the deceased actress, has also sought stay on the lower court proceedings and alleged that CBI has also concurred with the finding of the Mumbai police that it was a suicide and not homicidal death. "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," counsel for Rabia told the vacation bench of Justices A M Sapre and Ashok Bhushan.
Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan also said that the CBI, "due to reasons best know to them", has been vehemently opposing the appointment of special public prosecutor in the case by Maharashtra government. He said that investigation be handed over to the SIT as CBI has also in its charge sheet said that the death was not homicidal despite forensic evidence suggesting otherwise.
The bench then asked Rabia to approach Bombay High Court with her fresh application. The apex court directed the High Court to hear Rabia's plea expeditiously on June 7, the date already fixed in the case. Earlier, the Bombay High Court had refused to extend the stay granted on trial against actor Sooraj. The High Court had on February 25 stayed the trial against Sooraj while hearing a petition filed by Jiah's mother challenging the investigating agency CBI's charge sheet terming Jiah's death as a suicide.
Rabia had petitioned the High Court against CBI categorising Jiah's death on June 3, 2013 as suicidal and not homicidal. Rabia sought the High Court to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case afresh. The trial court is scheduled to frame charges against Sooraj in the case.
Rabia in her petition before the High Court had contended that there were several anomalies in the charge sheet filed by the CBI in December last year and sought directions to enable the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist the SIT as Jiah was a US citizen. Jiah's boyfriend-actor Sooraj was arrested for abetting her suicide on June 10, 2013 but released on July 2, 2013, after the HC had granted him bail. The petition alleged that the CBI concluded in haste that the case was that of suicide; that it did not bother to counter question concerned people and that it did not bother getting important evidence on record.