New Delhi [India], Jan 31: A sessions court on Tuesday framed charges against the Bollywood actor Sooraj Pancholi of abetting the suicide of his girlfriend actress Jiah Khan in the year 2013. Pancholi, who was present in the court, pleaded not guilty. The trial is expected to begin on February 14. The charge of abetment for the suicide is under Section 306 of the IPC attracts a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail. Pancholi's lawyer Prashant Patil withdrew the discharge plea he had submitted earlier.
On June 3, 2013, Jiah was found hanging in the bedroom of her Juhu flat, following which Sooraj was arrested and charged with abetment. He was later released on bail. In January 2014, the Mumbai police filed a 447-page chargesheet and alleged suicide. In July 2014, the Bombay HC transferred the probe to the CBI after Jiah's mother Rabia alleged murder. But in December 2015, the CBI filed a charge sheet, ruling out murder.
After the day's proceedings, Rabia said: "At last today the court has gone ahead with framing of charges, at last the journey to reveal the truth has begun... I would have been happier if more serious charges had been framed after investigating the scientific evidence... for this purpose, I will go to the high court. I'm sure the truth will come out, that my daughter was murdered."