Jiah Khan death: Need to further examine dupatta, BBM messages, CBI tells court

Sadaf Modak
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The special court had last year framed charges of abetment of suicide against Pancholi based on the CBI chargesheet, which had ruled out murder.

MONTHS AFTER trial began in the alleged abetment of suicide case of actor Jiah Khan, the CBI has moved a plea before the special court seeking to conduct further probe against accused Suraj Pancholi.

The CBI, in a plea moved last month, has sought to send the dupatta allegedly used by Khan to commit suicide to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Chandigarh for further examination. It has also sought to retrieve the deleted messages exchanged between Khan and Pancholi through the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) by sending both their cellphones to the forensic unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US.

Khan was found hanging in her Juhu home by her mother Rabia on June 3, 2013. Pancholi was arrested on June 10, 2013 and granted bail in July the same year. The special court had last year framed charges of abetment of suicide against Pancholi based on the CBI chargesheet, which had ruled out murder.

“The BBM messages exchanged between deceased and accused immediately before the time of death, along with the GPS location, are relevant for further investigation of the case. So, it is required to sent both the Blackberry cellphones to the Forensic Unit, FBI, USA for examination and Report through Letterogratory Report (LR),” the CBI plea stated.

Rabia had previously made a similar plea on examination of the dupatta and BBM messages but it was rejected by the Bombay High Court in February 2017. Pancholi’s lawyer, Prashant Patil, in his reply to the CBI plea on Friday, said that while the agency had opposed Rabia’s plea before the HC in 2017, stating that the BBM messages were not linked to the case, its stand now is “contradictory”.

Patil submitted that there is no change in circumstances for the CBI to change its stand. “...the same CBI is now filing contrary petitions, which clearly reflects the intention of the investigating officer representing CBI to commit intentional contempt of order of hon’ble Bombay High Court,” the reply stated, adding that this was being done to delay the trial.

Rabia has been claiming that Khan had not killed herself and the investigating agencies should probe if she was murdered.