This is a continuation of Part 1 of this story which was covered by Legal Desire here. Jiah Khan was found hanging in her Juhu apartment in June 2013, and over the last three years, the actor’s death has been the subject of mystery for people all over the country. From Jiah Khan’s then-boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi being charged with abetment to suicide to the CBI later pronouncing Jiah’s death as suicide, the case has seen several twists and turns over the years. The newest development in the Jiah Khan death case is a shocking one: a British forensic expert hired by Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan has found that the ‘hanging was staged’.
Forensic expert Jason Payne-James’s report comes a month after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) ruled out murder in the Jiah Khan death case. Over the last three years, Rabia has time and again reiterated her view that Jiah could not have committed suicide.
On 3 June 2013, Jiah Khan planned to spend the evening at home in Mumbai binge-watching Game of Thrones. The 25-year-old British Bollywood star wanted to stay awake to greet her youngest sister, Kavita, who was arriving at 3am on a flight from Heathrow. Jiah had been shopping that day and bought Kavita some gold jewellery. The sisters texted non-stop before the plane took off. “We bombarded each other with emojis,” says Kavita. “We couldn’t wait to see each other.”
Rabbiya Khan, their mother, left Jiah alone in the family’s apartment in the affluent beach suburb of Juhu at around 9pm to have dinner with friends. At 9.37pm she spoke to Jiah on her mobile. “I said the typical mummy-ish things about how she mustn’t forget to eat,” says Rabbiya. “She needed to gain weight for a film role. We laughed about how she could have any food she wanted. She sounded relaxed and happy.”
Less than two hours later Jiah was dead. Rabbiya returned home at 11.20 pm to find her daughter hanging from a ceiling fan in the apartment’s spare bedroom. Her body was still warm. Rabbiya grabbed Jiah’s ankles to support her weight while she screamed for help, but Jiah was gone.
As per the report of British Forensic Expert, The timeline and mental state of Nafisa at the time of her death, do not imply planning for suicide.
The CCTV footage shows Jiah Khan throwing away the flower bouquet that was sent to her by the boyfriend, Sooraj Pancholi. According to the opinion of Forensic expert, a person who wants to commit suicide will not act like that. They will keep everything from the person they love and treasure it.
The so called suicide note also raises questions. Jiah khan had according to the timeline no time to write a six page letter and hide it in her drawer. According to the Forensic Expert, a person in suicidal state of mind leave the letter where they wrote it because as stated by him in his report, ‘In my work I have noticed that people who commit suicide and leave a letter, they want it to be found’. He further added, ‘The letter is to tell their state of mind, their feelings, their pain and why they think there is no way out for them, whereas in Jiah Khan’s letter she is writing about her trip and sister. People committing suicide do not think in the future sense.’
In Jiah Khan’s case the letter was hidden in her drawer and was found four days later by her family. In the opinion of the expert, Jiah Khan wrote the letter not on the fatal day, but before that. Jiah Khan was an actress and very creative person. She still had a diary and was writing down her feelings and thoughts, which could lead to an inference that the note found in her drawer, was not a suicide note, but her way to express herself and her feelings.
According to the analysis, neither Rabbiya Khan nor the pathologists at post mortem mention any smell of alcohol. From the CCTV evidence Jiah does not appear to be intoxicated. The absence of Jiah Khan’s tracksuit that she is wearing in the CCTV but not found when hanging raises major concerns that it can be removed by another person.
Jiah Khan had also admitted to her friends that Sooraj Pancholi had a bad temper and was violent towards her. In conversation with her friend on WhatsApp, when her friend asked “still violent?” to this Jiah Khan replied, “ Verbally and slightly physically…he fractured my little finger”.
Sooraj Pancholi also wrote apology letters to Jiah Khan on various occasions admitting to his violent behavior. One Such occasion was Christmas Eve where he wrote an apology letter admitting to his drinking and anger issues. One of the lines from the letter says “I wish that I hadn’t drank soo much….I was really drunk….I just want to apologize for my fucked up childish behavior”.
As per the details revealed by Jiah Khan’s mother, Jiah Khan was in a very good cheer on the day of her alleged suicide and her apparent demeanour and behavior as described by the her mother and CCTV images does not give the impression of someone who intends shortly to kill themselves. Moreover, as per the Forensic Expert Report, this does not look like any form of impulsive act.
To remind our readers, that it is not the opinion of any layman but a Forensic investigator who has 15 years of experience in investigating deaths and crimes around the world.
However, many questions have been left unanswered which have also come up in the report of the Forensic expert :
- Why was there no investigation or follow up about the “break up bouquet”?
- This is important information which is missing in the case and there was no follow up by the CBI or police.
- In his statement the accused stated that his servant brought flowers, why didn’t he bring it himself?
- Why there is no interrogation of the servant or friend visiting the accused that night?
- According to the forensic psychology report, it is clear that the accused is holding important information, it would have been normal to have a Forensic Psychologist at the interrogation of the person of interest, to see their body language and review their interest.
- Where are the phone record of that day?
- To not retrive these phone records, CBI and police did not investigate this case as a homicide and very important pieces of information got lost.
- Why Police or CBI never asked phone records of the accused and deceased, but also the phone records of the person of interest?
- The accused, Sooraj Pancholi had two phones, why his call logs were not submitted and investigated?
- Why was the phone data not investigated? CBI could get court order for the password from the accused so they could investigate any phone data.
In the background of such a scenario, The CBI’s distortions and negligence in their investigation should not become hinderance in the delivery of justice. There should be a full reconstruction of the fatal night and crime scene. The investigation of the accused and other suspects must be continued to get answers to multiple questions that have come up in the case.
Read Part 1 of this story, Click Here
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