In a fresh development in the probe into the 2013 death of Bollywood actress Jiah Khan, the prosecution has instructed that murder charges be slapped on actor Sooraj Pancholi, who is currently accused of abetting her death.
The prosecution also sought that the trial be conducted against Pancholi adding the murder charge. Special Judge AS Shende will hear the arguments on framing of charges on 20 May.
"Rabiya (Jiah's mother) is the informant and she says it's the case of section 302 of IPC (murder). She was the first one who saw the body hence Sooraj should be charged for murder," Public Prosecutor Kalpana Hire told the special women's court conducting the trial in the case.
However, the trial court will decide on the murder charge at the time of framing charges against the accused, legal sources said.
Hire told the court that it should frame charges of rape and causing a miscarriage without Jiah's consent against Pancholi.
Responding to Hire's arguments, Sooraj Pancholi's lawyer Prashant Patil told the court that there is no evidence for framing the charges of murder against Pancholi. Patil said even there was no evidence against Pancholi to charge him for abetement.
He said the abortion in question was a medical termination as there was no evidence to suggest that she went to doctors.
On 5 May, CBI lawyer Bharat Badami moved the application saying that advocate Dinesh Tiwari (state-appointed prosecutor) cannot represent in the case but the CBI prosecutor should appear in the case.
However, the court rejected the CBI's request, saying it has already allowed Tiwari to conduct the trial.
Meanwhile, Rabiya's lawyer Swapnil Ambure expressed his grouse with the CBI opening the case. But when the court asked Ambure to open the case, he sought time even as the CBI said it wanted more time to argue.