Sooraj Pancholi, who made his Bollywood debut two months ago with Nikhil Advani's Hero, may be in for a fresh round of trouble over the June 3, 2013 suicide of actress Jiah Khan, who was his ex-girlfriend.
The 25-year-old actor, son of Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, has reportedly been named in a charge sheet filed by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) submitted to a Mumbai sessions court on Wednesday over the death of the 25-year-old actress, who had appeared in the films Nishabd (2007), Ghajini (2008), and Housefull (2010). The bureau's official stance is that they have made a case under section 306 of the Indian Penal Code — related to abetment of suicide, carrying a maximum imprisonment of 10 years — against a "private person".
File photo of Jiah Khan, who was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her Juhu residence on June 3, 2013
Now, a report in Mumbai Mirror, indicating that said "private person" is Pancholi, claims to have unearthed chilling details of how the actor — who was reportedly in a relationship with Khan till just before her demise — got her pregnant and helped carry out the abortion. This, suggests the charge sheet, scarred her deeply and may have led to her suicide.
An anonymous source told Mirror the contents of CBI's allegations against Pancholi, saying that Khan approached him when she was four weeks pregnant. After failed attempts to terminate the pregnancy medically, a gynaecologist prescribed a stronger combination of drugs.
The charge sheet says:
"After taking the medicine, Khan started haemorrhaging and called Pancholi for help. She was in pain and needed immediate medical attention but Pancholi allegedly asked her to wait and called up the gynaecologist for guidance. He was asked to rush Khan to hospital as the foetus had probably aborted but had not been expelled from the body, which is probably what led to the haemorrhaging."
It further alleges that Pancholi "extricated the foetus" himself and "disposed of it in a toilet" rather than going to a hospital for fear that their relationship would be discovered and his forthcoming Bollywood career would be in jeopardy. After this incident, he allegedly started avoiding her for the same reason, which the charge sheet says "added to her depression which finally drove her to suicide".
Aamir Khan, whom Jiah acted with in 'Ghajini', at a condolence meet held five days after her death
Before the incident, Pancholi and Khan had dated each other for seven months, in a relationship that began on Facebook. While Khan's mother Rabiya blamed him for her daughter's death and moved the Bombay High Court asking for a probe in October 2013, Pancholi claimed the following in a Bombay Times interview published June 2013:
"I know that she would not want me to go through this. If the mother blames me, I should tell her that I did not take her life. In fact, I gave her extension of life by 10 months. Had I not been there in her life, she would have tried this and succeeded earlier."
He claimed that Khan suffered from depression and was undergoing counselling for the same. Rabiya denied his claim and blamed his behaviour for her daughter's death, even as a letter written by her to Pancholi — accusing him of cheating on her and forcing her to abort their baby — came into the public domain.
A PTI report says that Pancholi — who spent 20 days behind bars at the time, before being released on bail — hid facts and fabricated information during questioning. According to CBI sources, the actor declined to "explain his last argument with Jiah" and refused to undergo polygraph or brain-mapping tests.
In addition to their allegations and the mounting evidence, the CBI charge sheet reportedly also says that "the accused are presumed to be innocent till their guilt is finally established after a fair trial".
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