May 24, 2016 12:00:12 am
THE Bombay High Court on Monday stayed till June 7 the trial in the Jiah Khan suicide case. The court was hearing a plea filed by the deceased actor’s mother Rabia Khan seeking the appointment of a special investigation team to probe the case. The Supreme Court had last week directed the High Court to expedite the hearing of Rabia’s petition.
The vacation bench of Justice B R Gavai and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi stayed the trial while posting the matter till June 7, when it will be heard by a regular bench of the High Court.
A special women’s court, which is hearing the case, had earlier adjourned the trial till June 10 after Rabia sought to move the HC following the Supreme Court directive on May 16. She had claimed anomalies in the findings of the CBI, which had chargesheeted Jiah’s former boyfriend and actor Sooraj Pancholi for abetment.
Rabia has yet again sought a fresh probe into her daughter’s death through the formation of an SIT monitored by the HC.
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On February 26, the High Court had stayed the trial while hearing a petition filed by Rabia alleging anomalies in the findings of the CBI.
However, the HC had on May 2 lifted the stay on the trial stating that the case could not go on forever. The High Court had in August 2014, on the request of Rabia, got the probe handed over to the CBI.
When the trial began in the women’s court on May 5 this year, the prosecution sought charges of murder, rape and causing miscarriage without a woman’s consent against Pancholi. The two chargesheets against Pancholi — one filed by the Juhu police station before the CBI took over the case, and one by the CBI — had booked him only for abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, and not for murder or rape.
Rabia has also contested the opposition of CBI to the appointment of special public prosecutor by the state government. The CBI on the other hand is considering moving an application against the counsel’s appointment.
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