Almost a decade after actress Jiah Khan's death by suicide, actor Sooraj Pancholi has been acquitted of abetment charges. A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai on Friday acquitted actor Sooraj Pancholi due to lack of evidence.
"Due to paucity of evidence, this court can't hold you (Sooraj Pancholi) guilty, hence acquitted," Special CBI court judge Judge AS Sayyed said while pronouncing the verdict.
On June 3, 2013, Jiah Khan was found dead in her suburban home in Mumbai. Based on a letter seized on June 10, which was purportedly written by the 25-year-old actor, Mumbai Police booked Suraj Pancholi under section 306 (abetment to suicide) and arrested him.
Sooraj, son of actors Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, was allegedly in a relationship with Jiah. Her mother Rabia Khan alleged that her daughter was murdered. In October 2013, Rabia moved to the Bombay High Court seeking a CBI probe in the case while alleging that her daughter had been murdered.
On the order of the Bombay High Court, the CBI took over the probe from the Maharashtra Police in July 2014. The Bombay High Court last year dismissed her petition seeking a fresh investigation into the case.
In his final statement to the court on April 12, 2023, Sooraj Pancholi said that he had been booked in a false case and that he was the victim of a false prosecution and persecution. He claimed he had broken down when he heard about Jiah's death, and said, "I had lost the most important person of my life and the woman whom I truly loved."
Rabia claimed that her daughter was in an abusive relationship with Sooraj Pancholi. Sooraj and Jiah started dating in September 2012.