Sooraj Pancholi gets acquitted by Mumbai court in Jiah Khan’s abetment to suicide case


Almost a decade after Jiah Khan passed away by suicide, a special CBI court in Mumbai today acquitted her boyfriend and actor Sooraj Pancholi of abetment charges in the case. Jiah was found hanging at her Juhu home in Mumbai on June 3, 2013. She was 25-years-old.

Sooraj was arrested on the basis of a six-page letter, written by Jiah and had booked him under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 306 on abetment to suicide charges filed by the actress’ mother, Rabia Khan. Special CBI judge AS Sayyad pronounced the verdict of acquittal and said, “Due to paucity of evidence, this court can't hold you (Sooraj Pancholi) guilty, hence acquitted.”

The trial in the case began in 2019, and the prosecuting agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had examined 22 witnesses in the case including Jiah’s mother and her sisters. Rabia had filed multiple pleas in Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court seeking Sooraj to face charges of murder, claiming that Jiah’s death was not suicide. However, CBI had said in its probe that there was no proof of murder.

Sooraj’s lawyer, Prashant Patil had defended the actor stating that the CBI had not been able to prove the charges against him. He also submitted that no witness had come forward claiming that Sooraj had instigated Jiah to die by suicide, all he had done was to break up with her and sent her a bouquet indicating the end of their relationship. No defence witness was examined on behalf of the actor’s lawyer.

Earlier this month, Sooraj had answered558 questions based on the evidence presented before the court. His statement was recorded by the court under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The actor insisted that he was falsely implicated in the case by Rabia and also claimed that Jiah’s sister had given a wrong statement that he used to abuse the actress while they were in a relationship. While talking about his relationship with his deceased girlfriend, Jiah, Sooraj said, “My relationship with Nafisa (Jiah’s real name) was good throughout. I am not responsible for Nafisa’s death.”

The actor was clicked at the court premises today with his mother veteran actress Zarina Wahab. Abetment to Suidice is a grave criminal offence where the accused can be punished to a term extending to ten years and shall be liable to fine as per Section 306 of IPC.