India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in a surprise move, has filed a charge sheet in the controversial case of the suicide of British-Indian actress Jiah Khan.
The CBI was directed by the Mumbai High Court in July last year to investigate whether the death at the age of 25 of the promising young actress was a case of suicide or homicidal death.
In Indian law, a charge sheet usually means a final report compiled by a police officer suggesting that an investigation has compiled “sufficient evidence” for a court to make further inquiries into a given case.
New York-born, London-raised Jiah, who starred in films such as ‘Nishabd’ and ‘Ghajini’, was found hanged by her mother and sister inside her apartment in Juhu, Mumbai in June 2013.
Her death shocked the Bollywood film fraternity and sparked an angry reaction from family and friends.
Her mother Rabia Khan has maintained that Jiah “no reason to take her own life”. Soon after Jiah’s death, her then-boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi – the son of actors Aditya Pancholi and Zareena Wahab – was arrested for “abetting” Jiah’s suicide after allegations that he had “pushed her” to take her own life.
He was later released.
Rabia later alleged that the initial investigation by Mumbai police into Jiah’s death had been deliberately “shabby” and “biased” for the benefit of the Pancholi family.
The Mumbai High Court directed the CBI to investigate the death further following a petition filed by Mrs Khan.