Earlier, in January, Judge K D Shirbhate framed charges against the 27-year-old actor for allegedly abetting actress Jiah Khan’s suicide.The case was filed under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code, to which he pleaded not guilty.
According to the charge sheet, Khan, best known for her performance in film ‘Nishabd’ starring Amitabh Bachchan, was found hanging at her residence on June 3, 2013, by her mother Rabiya. She had left the house of Sooraj Pancholi, where she had been staying for the last two days, in the morning the same day, it said.
Moreover, Pancholi had “hidden facts and fabricated information” during questioning, according to CBI. The agency also said that a three-page unsigned note seized by Mumbai police which earlier probed the case had been written by Jiah, and it narrated her “intimate relationship” with Sooraj and the “physical abuse and mental and physical torture” she faced at his hands.
According to Jiah's mother, the actress had left Sooraj’s house in the morning where she had been staying for the previous two days.
“The court today asked the prosecution to submit the list of its witnesses so that summons can be issued to them,” Sooraj’s lawyer Prashant Patil said.
However, the court adjourned the hearing to February 21.
The high court transferred the case to the CBI in July 2014 on Rabiya Khan’s petition. The petition claimed that police were not probing it properly.
However, when the CBI filed a charge sheet against Sooraj for abetment, Rabiya Khan again moved to the high court seeking a fresh probe by a special investigation team. She claimed that the CBI was wrong in concluding that it was a case of suicide and not a homicide. The high court dismissed the petition, finding no merit in the plea.
Sooraj was present in the court during the hearing on February 14.
(With inputs from PTI)