Jiah Khan Case: HC Asks CBI to Hand Over Pancholi’s Passport
Pancholi, however, has been asked to produce the original passport as and when required by the trial court.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the CBI to hand over the passport of actor Sooraj Pancholi back to him. He gets the passport on the condition that he will produce it as and when required by the trial court. Pancholi is accused of abetting the suicide of his girlfriend and actor Jiah Khan.
Justice Mridula Bhatkar allowed the petition filed by Pancholi seeking the return of his passport. It was seized by the investigating agency as per the high court order of 1 July 2013 while granting him bail.
Pancholi, in his petition, had said before travelling abroad that he would seek permission from the trial court.
The accused applicant (Sooraj Pancholi) will have to give an undertaking to the trial court that he will produce the original passport as and when required by the trial court. An undertaking shall also be given to the trial court that the accused applicant shall remain present during the trial. A photocopy of the passport shall be given to the CBI.Justice Mridula Bhatkar
The court, while allowing the petition, also held that the charge sheet has been already filed in the case and the passport was not part of evidence.
CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar opposed giving the passport permanently to the accused and said the agency would hand it over to the trial court and every time the accused wants to travel, he could take it from the trial court and return it.
The court, however, refused to accept this condition.
Jiah Khan had hung herself from a ceiling fan in her suburban Juhu residence on 3 June 2013. Pancholi was arrested on 10 June for abetting her suicide, but was released on 2 July after the high court granted him bail.
Jiah’s mother Rabiya petitioned the high court, seeking a probe by an independent agency under the court’s supervision. She alleged that her daughter was murdered by Pancholi. Following this, the high court in July 2014 transferred the probe in the case to CBI.
The agency, after investigation, submitted its charge sheet before a trial court in Mumbai and charged Pancholi for abetment of suicide.
Rabiya again petitioned the high court against CBI categorising Jiah’s death as suicide instead of homicide.
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