The Bombay High Court on Thursday declined a plea for setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the death of Bollywood actress Jiah Khan.
The plea was filed by Jiah’s mother, Rabia Khan, a British national, who had sought formation of an SIT to probe the causes leading to the death of her daughter on June 3, 2013.
Claiming that her US citizen daughter was murdered, Khan has also contested the investigators’ version that Jiah allegedly committed suicide by hanging at her home in Sagar Sangeet Apartments in the posh Juhu area that evening.
A division bench comprising Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi ruled that since the matter is already being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) there was no need to interfere.
Dismissing Khan’s plea, the judges also disallowed an intervention application filed by actor Sooraj Pancholi seeking that he be heard as the trial court is yet to frame charges on the basis of the CBI chargesheet.
Initially, Mumbai Police had investigated the sensational case of the celebrity which was later transferred to the CBI.
Jiah, 25, left behind a note allegedly pointing a finger at Pancholi, her then boyfriend and son of actor-couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab.
Later, Mumbai police had arrested Sooraj Pancholi on charges of ‘abetment to (Jiah’s) suicide’ and he was later granted bail.
The CBI had concurred with Mumbai police that Jiah’s death was a suicide and not a murder.
Khan had earlier moved the Supreme Court with a similar plea (seeking an SIT) alleging Pancholi was behind Jiah’s death, but she was directed to approach the Bombay High Court.
At a previous hearing, Khan’s counsel had submitted pictures of Jiah’s body, the autopsy report and another report by experts in Britain who had stated the nature of injuries on the victim’s body suggested the possibility of homicide.
Thursday’s high court order is likely to pave the way for the trial to start in the lower court on the basis of the CBI chargesheet.