The Mumbai Police may have been bitten more than once,but with the arrest and 21-day incarceration of Sooraj Pancholi,it has shown that it is nowhere close to shy in pushing its case way too far against a person somewhat famous.
Like the Bombay High Court said at the time of releasing Sooraj Pancholi on bail,the death of actor Nafisa alias Jiah Khan was indeed tragic. But the series of events that followed in the life of the 22-year-old aspiring actor,who was in a relationship with Jiah,were,in their own way,unfortunate. After Jiah Khan committed suicide on June 3,her mother and sister,who found her “diary extracts” that documented her tumultuous relationship with Sooraj,handed them over to the Juhu police station on June 8. Jiahs family was in mourning; they were angry and vulnerable after their loss. They may have had their reasons for accusing Sooraj of leading Jiah to suicide and it was certainly the polices job to verify their claims.
It is at such a time that prudent police officers would be expected to take a rational view of the situation. Instead,the police,in a tearing hurry,arrested Sooraj on June 10 based on undated letters that Jiah addressed to no one. At the time of Soorajs arrest,the letters were sent for handwriting analysis,however,the reports are yet to confirm if they were indeed written by Jiah.
In the sessions court as well,the prosecution continued to oppose Soorajs bail after which he came to the High Court that sought a justification for Soorajs judicial custody to continue. The court said that in June it had granted bail in three cases of abetment of suicide in all of which young girls had taken their lives. Every suicide is a sensitive case. Every woman who commits suicide is the same. Dont make it exceptional just based on status of people, the HC reminded the police. It shows the police in poor light when they chose to overlook several attributes in the case that the HC took into account while granting bail to Sooraj like Jiahs suicidal tendencies,possessiveness,impulsiveness and misunderstandings between the two. While hearing the bail application,Justice Sadhana Jadhav perhaps put it aptly,Just because everyone has wasted their time,doesnt mean the court should also do that.
Mayura is an Assistant Editor based in Mumbai