In a fresh twist in Bollywood actress Jiah Khan’s suicide case, a British forensic expert has concluded that her hanging was staged. In his report, the expert stated that the marks on her face and neck indicate that it wasn’t a case of suicide.
In August, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) ruled out murder in the case of actress Jiah Khan’s death. But Rabia Khan, Jiah Khan’s mother had enlisted a private forensic expert, Payne-James, of UK-based Forensic Healthcare Services Ltd to probe into her death. He has stated in his report:
There are a number of serious misinterpretations (or exclusions of reasonable inferences) of the medical evidence, and that the apparent intention to attribute her death to suicide may mean that the real possibility of a staged hanging subsequent to earlier death at the hands of another has been missed.
There are many discrepancies between the state’s forensic report and the private forensic lab’s report. While the state’s report concluded that the injury marks on Jiah’s lower lip were the result of “friction with the teeth during the commission of the act [suicide]”, Payne-James’s report claims that the injuries “represent either abrasions or bruises”, and are indicative of “blunt force trauma to the mouth region (for example punching or a hand placed over the mouth).”
Another variation in the reports is regarding the ligature marks on Jiah’s neck. The State’s report said that they may be “caused due to slippage of ligature material [dupatta] slightly downwards or the ligature knot present at that site.” But Payne-James concluded that the dupatta could not have created such impressions. “It would seem unlikely that the diffuse pressure of the dupatta around the neck would cause the well-defined abraded ligature mark seen,” said his report.
Meanwhile, Adithya Pancholi, the prime accused, Sooraj Pancholi’s, father, questioned the report’s credibility. He said, “This report is from a private forensic lab and it’s paid. We will see if a court admits it or not. The investigations have been done by different agencies and all of them have come to the same conclusion [that it was a suicide].”
But legal experts have admitted that the court would take into consideration the new findings. A senior criminal lawyer said to Mirror, “Any expert opinion is admissible before the court and the findings are taken into serious consideration. Now, what evidence was made available to the forensic lab that prepared the report holds key value.”
Jiah Khan was a Bollywood actress known for her roles in Hindi movies Ghajini and Housefull. On 3 June, 2015, she was found dead in her apartment in Mumbai. After the recovery of a note written by the actress, her then-boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi, became a suspect in the case. In the note, she spoke about her troubled relationship with the actor. Following further investigations, Sooraj Pancholi was arrested on charges of abetting her suicide in 2013.
Feature image courtesy: Zeenews