The Bombay High Court Monday asked a lower court not proceed with the trial in a matter relating to actor Jiah Khan’s death till next week, by when the HC is expected to hear a petition filed by CBI challenging state government’s decision to appoint a special public prosecutor in the case. The High Court has asked the Advocate General to appear in the matter to address the court on the issue. The court has also asked Jiah’s mother, Rabia Khan, to file her reply in the matter.
“We request the Advocate General to appear in the matter next week. Till the next date of hearing, the sessions court shall not proceed with the case before it,” said Justice A K Menon.
CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar argued that the state did not have the power to appoint a special public prosecutor to represent the CBI in the case. Moreover, special public prosecutor Dinesh Tiwari, who was appointed as the prosecutor by the state government in November 2015, had represented Rabia Khan in another case related to the matter.
Meanwhile, Rabia Khan has approached the sessions court, seeking access to Blackberry Messenger conversations between Jiah and actor Sooraj Pancholi. “The CBI will have to be represented in the matter before the trial court,” said Venegaonkar.
“There are larger issues involved. The High Court will have to consider if the government can appoint a special prosecutor to represent CBI,” said Justice Menon. Jiah had committed suicide on June 3, 2013. Her then actor boyfriend Sooraj was arrested for abetting her suicide on June 10, 2013, but released on July 2, the same year after the HC granted him bail.
The case was transferred to CBI by the High Court in July 2014, on Rabia’s petition that police was not probing it properly. Meanwhile, the CBI was in concurrence with the findings of the Mumbai police that it was a case of suicide and not a homicide which was opposed by Rabia.