The Bombay High Court Tuesday asked Rabiya Khan, the mother of actor Jiah Khan, to file her response to a petition filed by Sooraj Pancholi seeking to expedite the trial against him. Pancholi, who was charged with abetting the suicide of Jiah Khan on June 3, 2013, had approached the High Court a few months back seeking a direction to a sessions court to expedite the trial in the case.
The actor had alleged that Jiah Khan’s mother was trying to delay the matter by filing applications in the trial court saying she wants to address the court directly. On Tuesday, when the matter came up for hearing Justice Anuja Prabhudessai asked Rabiya Khan to file her affidavit in two weeks. “But I make it clear that the first informant in the case (Rabiya Khan) cannot appear independently before the trial court. She will have to go through the special public prosecutor appointed in the case. There is a procedure laid down and she will have to follow it,” the court said.
The court further said that pendency of the petition shall not be construed as a stay in the trial. “The sessions court should go ahead with the trial,” it said. Pancholi was arrested on June 10, 2013 following Jiah Khan’s suicide. On July 2 the same year, the High Court granted him bail.
The case was transferred to the CBI by HC in July 2014, on Rabiya Khan’s petition that police was allegedly not probing it properly. However, when the CBI filed a chargesheet in the case and booked Pancholi on abetment charges, Rabiya Khan again petitioned the court seeking a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to be set up to probe the case afresh.
She was against the CBI’s agreement with the findings of Mumbai Police that it was a case of suicide and not a homicide. This petition was dismissed by the High Court.