Jiah Khan's Hanging Was Staged, Says British Forensic Expert

The fresh insights bring a sensational twist in the 3-year-old case.

20/09/2016 3:07 PM IST | Updated 21/09/2016 12:47 PM IST
Jiah Khan was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her Juhu residence on June 3, 2013.

In a new twist to the Jiah Khan case, currently under investigation by the CBI, a British forensic expert hired by Jiah's mother, Rabiya, has found that the hanging was staged.

Mumbai Mirror, whose team of reporters have examined the reports submitted by the Brit forensic expert Jason Payne-James, published the story today quoting the report that said that Jiah's hanging was 'staged' and the marks on her face and neck indicate it's 'not a simple case of suicide'.

Rabiya hired the services of the independent forensic expert, recognized by the UK General Medical Council, as she was unhappy in the manner with which Indian forensics handled the case.

According to the Mirror report, Payne-James studied the medical and post-mortem reports, analyzed photographs of Jiah's body and reviewed CCTV grabs and her room pictures for investigation.

Local forensic experts had stated that the injury marks on Jiah's lower lip were probably the result of "friction with the teeth during the commission of the act [suicide]".

Contradicting this, Payne-James has said the injuries "represent either abrasions or bruises", and are indicative of "blunt force trauma to the mouth region (for example punching or a hand placed over the mouth)," the MIrror report says.

Pyne-James has also questioned the shoddy investigations that didn't explore any other angle in the case other than suicide.

"I do not believe that the possibility of a staged hanging after death that has been caused previously has been properly considered (e.g. ligature strangulation with some other material and then Nafisa Khan being 'hung' with the dupatta)," the report, as quoted in the paper, says.

While there was some doubt over the findings being admissible in the court, HuffPost India spoke to lawyer Neeraj Gupta, who said that these insights cannot be overlooked by the judge.

"The complainant, according to the Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code, can directly approach the trial court, who will ensure these findings are included in the charge sheet that'll be filed by the CBI. At the time of trial, this document can be examined and can hugely influence the case," said Gupta, who's representing the case of the late TV actress Pratyusha Banerjee.

He added that there have been cases where decomposed bodies have been dug out to conduct forensic tests again, so it shouldn't matter if Rabiya took the assistance of a foreign agency for a second round of investigations, as long as their findings hold under deep scrutiny.

HuffPost tried contacted Rabiya, but she wasn't available for comment.

Jiah, 25, was found hanging from the ceiling fan at her Juhu residence on June 3, 2013.

It was after her mother Rabiya's repeated complaints that the case was transferred to the CBI, who last December charged Jiah's boyfriend, actor Sooraj Pancholi with abetment to suicide.

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