10 Reasons Why Sooraj Pancholi Was Acquitted by CBI Court

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Pancholi Tried to Save Jiah From Committing Suicide, Letter Found From Jiah Khan Was Written in Rabia Khan's Book & more….

On Friday, a Special Court acquitted Bollywood Actor Sooraj Pancholi of charges related to the suicide of Bollywood Actress Jiah Khan. The judgement was delivered by Special CBI Judge AS Sayyad almost 10 years after Jiah Khan's death. Jiah Khan, an English-American actress, was found hanging in her room on June 3, 2013, at the age of 25.

Sooraj Pancholi, who was Jiah Khan's boyfriend, was arrested by the Mumbai Police at the time. Later, in October 2013, Jiah Khan's mother, Rabia Khan, filed a petition alleging murder. The case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation after the police concluded that it was not a murder in its chargesheet.

In 2017, another petition filed by Rabia Khan seeking a special SIT to investigate the case was dismissed by the Bombay High Court. In January 2018, the trial court charged Pancholi with abetting Jiah Khan's suicide under Section 306 of the IPC.

In September 2022, the Bombay High Court again dismissed Rabia Khan's petition seeking a fresh investigation. The Special Judge reserved the order on April 20, 2022, after examining 21 witnesses.

Reasons For Acquitting Sooraj Pancholi:

1. Failure of Prosecution To Produce Evidence

“The prosecution has utterly failed to produce sufficient, cogent and dependable evidence on record to establish the said ingredients. In the present case, the evidence on record against the accused is vague, general and omnibus. From this evidence any specific overt act or role can not be attributed to the accused. There is absolutely no evidence on record to show that on 03.06.2013 the accused had acted in any manner which could reflect a mens-rea that he wanted her to commit suicide. The prosecution further failed to prove that there was any action of the part of the accused which compels the deceased to commit suicide. Therefore, in the absence of any mens-rea, instigation or aid, it cannot be said that the accused had driven her to commit suicide on that day,” the judge observed

2. Sooraj Pancholi Saved Jiah Khan From Committing Suicide

“She could not overcome the emotions. The deceased could have always walked out of the relationship. However, she could not overcome her sentiments and her love for the accused for which the accused cannot be held responsible. It has come on record that at the relevant time, the accused was also pursuing his career in acting and admittedly could not devote sufficient time for the deceased. However, on the earlier occasion, when the deceased tried to commit suicide the accused had saved her. He had helped her to come out of the depression,” the court noted.

3. Jiah Khan Was Extremely Obsessive and Possessive

“There was some misunderstanding between the accused and the deceased on the ground that the accused had been to meet another female friend and the deceased had suspected the accused. The conduct of the deceased as such above reflects that she was extremely obsessive and possessive about the accused. Thereafter, the said female friend had also sent a message to the deceased that there has been some miscommunication and that there was nothing serious and had further told the deceased that she should not misunderstand her and that she would visit her on next day,” the court recorded

4. Jiah Khan Had Suicidal Tendency, Sooraj Pancholi Did Not Force Her To Abort.

“On an earlier occasion, the deceased had attempted to commit suicide and at that time, it was the accused who had called upon a Doctor. The accused had treated the deceased and had tried to get her out of the said depression. The evidence of the complainant reflects that she was not even aware of such an incident until the accused disclosed to her. There is nothing to indicate that the complainant and her daughter had at any point of time questioned the accused about it and said acts were out of volition and therefore it cannot be said that the accused had forced the deceased to undergo a medical termination of pregnancy or otherwise,” the judge observed.

5. Rabia Khan is Responsible For Demolishing Her Own Case.

“It is seen that after long drawn and deep investigation, both the investigating officers concluded that it was suicide case. However, the complainant challenged the said investigation before the Hon'ble High Court by way of various writ petitions stating it was murder case. Though the complainant stating it is a murder case, but the available evidence on record does not reflect as what stated by the complainant. The 80% evidence which given by the complainant founds to be full- fledged with improvements and contradictions. The complainant herself by giving as such contradictory statements demolished the case of prosecution for which she is sole responsible,” the judge noted

6. Rabia Khan Gave Contrary Views To Destroy Case of Prosecution, Suspected Doctor Who Conducted Postmortem.

“By giving as such open contradictory evidence, the complainant herself destroyed the case of prosecution. When the expert witnesses gave their opinion regarding cause of death of the deceased as it was suicidal, the complainant took exactly contrary view stating the Doctors given wrong opinion as suicidal instead of the murder. The complainant raised doubt even on the Doctors who conducted postmortem examination of the deceased. The complainant raised doubt on everyone except herself,” the court observed

7. Delay Of 6 Days In Lodging FIR Creates Doubt About Credibility of Rabia Khan.

“There is no any plausible explanation given by the complainant that as to why in such 6 days period she has not directly lodged FIR against the specific person i.e. accused and instead of as such serious offence she waited for 6 days for lodging FIR. The said delay creates doubt about the credibility of version of the complainant. The said unexplained delay is therefore fatal to the prosecution case and consequently the case of the prosecution comes under the shadow of doubt,” the court recorded

8. Letter Found From Jiah Khan Based On Which FIR Under Section 306 Was Registered Was Written in Rabia Khan’s Notebook.

“All of sudden, on 07.06.2013 the letter found which according to the complainant wrote by the deceased. The gap of 4 days in getting available the said letter remain unexplained satisfactorily by the complainant. One interesting thing in respect of the said letter came on record that according to the complainant the letters which wrote in notebook by the deceased, that notebook was of the complainant,” the judge noted

9. Jiah Khan Was Depressed Because She Did Not Get Work and Feared of Failing In Her Career.

“If the above evidence of P.W.7 taken into consideration in its entirety, it would reflect that P.W.7 was treating the deceased for depression and the reason for depression was of not getting work of fear of failing in her career. The evidence of P.W.7 further, reflects that the deceased was in more than relationships and was sexually active even prior to accused came into her life. The evidence of this witness indicates that there are multiple gray areas of life of the deceased which to unveil, the investigators of the case miserably failed. It is not normal for any human being to witness angels and actually seek help from angels to come out of depression,” the court recorded.

10. Jiah Khan Died Due To Hanging.

“In patological status the weight of the organ will ultered they have not found any such ultration and it is not mentioned in postmortem report. In their examination, they have not found any finding suggestive of homicidal hanging. External examination, corresponding internal examination and chemical analysis reports are suggestive or hanging of suicidal in nature. The above referred evidence supported by the medical evidence makes it clear that Jiah Khan @ Nafisa Khan died due to hanging and not as stated by the complainant in evidence. In the circumstances, I hold that Jiah Khan @ Nafisa Khan met with a suicidal death and answer point no.1 in the affirmative,” the court concluded

After the judgment was passed by the Special CBI Court Acquitting Actor Sooraj Pancholi, Rabia Khan is likely to challenge the same before the Bombay High Court. 

Case title: CBI vs Sooraj Aditya Pancholi