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Four and a half years after Jiah Khan’s suicide, her former boyfriend, Sooraj Pancholi has been charged with abetment to suicide.
According to Hindustan Times, Pancholi has pleaded not guilty in court and the trial will begin on February 17.
Khan committed suicide in 2013 by hanging herself; she left a suicide note in which she blamed Sooraj for ruining her life.
“Sooraj pleaded innocence and the examination of witnesses will start from February 14,” his lawyer Prashant Patil said.
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Pancholi, son of Bollywood couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, had “hidden facts and fabricated information” during questioning. He had allegedly also refused to undergo polygraph or brain-mapping tests which the agency wanted to conduct.
The CBI said a three-page note seized by the Mumbai Police written by Jiah narrated her “intimate relationship, physical abuse and mental and physical torture” allegedly at the hands of Sooraj which ultimately led her to commit suicide.
Pancholi’s father, Aditya told the media that the family is relieved to hear the trial will be going forward.
“We are very happy [that the trial is beginning]. We have been waiting for this day for the past four-and-a-half years. Now the real trial begins, now we will fight the actual fight. If we are guilty, Sooraj will be punished; and if we are not, then Sooraj will be set free. We’ve gone through a lot of stress, but we stood by each other, and friends from the industry like Salman (Khan) were also there for us. The trial cannot go on forever. Sooraj is a young man and he has his life ahead of him.”