On Tuesday, a sessions court charged Sooraj Pancholi for allegedly abetting the suicide of his girlfriend Jiah Khan in 2013.
Sooraj Pancholi, who was present in the court, pleaded not guilty. The trial for the same is likely to commence from next month.
The court had asked the Hero actor’s lawyer Prashant Patil on the status of his discharge plea. He told the court that the CBI had till date not filed a reply on the discharge plea and he also wants the trial to begin quickly. On Tuesday, Patil did not present his discharge plea after the court directed that charges be framed in the case. The case has been adjourned to February 14, next month.
Earlier, Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan was making sure that Sooraj is booked under the charges including murder claiming that her daughter had not committed suicide but was killed. Both the Juhu police, who initially investigated the case, and the Central Bureau of Investigation, the current investigating agency, had submitted that Sooraj could only be booked as per Section 306 (Abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code based on the evidence available.
In 2016, the court had begun hearing arguments on framing of charges against Pancholi. After the CBI wanted time to make the submissions since there was no clarity on the special public prosecutor appointed in the case, the court had then directed the regular court prosecutor to initiate framing of charges. The prosecutor had then wanted that Sooraj be charged under section 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and 313 (causing miscarriage without a woman’s consent) based on the complaint made by Khan. Pancholi had then filed for discharge stating that there was no evidence to charge him on these sections.
The actor was arrested on June 10, 2013, following Jiah’s suicide on June 3, 2013. Then in July 2013, he was granted bail.