Bollywood actor Aditya Pancholi asked that how can the prosecution suddenly seek that a charge of rape and murder be framed against Sooraj Pancholi, when there no such allegation of rape was made all this while by anyone?”. Sooraj has been accused of abetment to suicide following the death of actor Jiah Khan in 2013.
Aditya, when asked about the prosecution’s plea to frame new charges of murder, rape and illegal medical termination of pregnancy against his son, said, “My son’s only fault was to have fallen in love with a girl. He did no other wrong.” He said “neither Jiah’s mother Rabia nor the police had accused Sooraj of rape, so why is the prosecutor now demanding it. Suraj has never even sought anticipatory bail but on the contrary attended court on each date he was required to. He wants the case to proceed, but the prosecution has been delaying the proceedings by seeking time.”
Sooraj’s lawyer Prashant Patil, who is arguing against the charges, said that prosecution’s plea is not backed by any prima facie evidence, which is essential to frame charges, as a pre-trial procedure. The court, too, was not inclined to grant any adjournments to the prosecution and heard arguments which will continue on May 20.
“There is no material to add a charge of murder or rape, and the termination of pregnancy was legally done,” argued Patil, producing medical documents and Khan’s consent to the procedure. Citing SC judgments, Patil said a trial court can frame charges only where there is evidence, not by a plain reading of a chargesheet. He said in abetment to suicide cases, the abetment must first be shown by the prosecution, merely claiming abetment doesn’t make it one.