Twenty-one days after Sooraj Pancholi (22) was arrested for abetting the suicide of actor Jiah Khan,Bombay High Court Monday granted him bail. While ordering his release from prison,Justice Sadhana Jadhav observed that the undated letters by Jiah could not be termed suicide notes but extracts from her diary. No doubt it is an unfortunate incident… She must have been impulsive. The applicant (Sooraj) cannot be solely held responsible for it, the court said.
On June 3,25-year-old Jiah committed suicide at her Juhu residence. Four days later,Jiahs sister Kavita found a six-page letter allegedly written by the actor,giving an account of her troubled relationship with Sooraj and an abortion that she underwent.
Her mother (Rabiya) knew that she wrote poems,and wanted to read them out at a condolence meeting. While searching for the poems,Kavita found the letter, said Rabiyas lawyer. The letters were handed over to police on June 8. Juhu police booked Sooraj for abetting Jiahs suicide and placed him under arrest on June 10.
Soorajs counsel Ashok Mundargi said his failed relationship was being exploited and there was no reason to keep him behind bars any longer.
The court said the letters were not addressed to anybody and may have been written when the relationship between Jiah and Sooraj was strained. This script never reached the applicant but stayed in its original form in her (Jiahs) house. It cannot be said the emotions reflected could ever reach the applicant, the court observed.
The court said Jiah and Sooraj,son of actors Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab,were in a consensual live-in relationship,which Rabiya had not objected to. They were in a live-in relationship by volition…it cannot be said that the deceased had no option but to commit suicide, the court said,adding that Sooraj had no mens rea (motive) to aid or instigate Jiahs suicide.
It cannot be ignored that the deceased had suicidal tendencies. In an earlier attempt,the applicant had called a doctor and tried to get her out of depression, the court said.