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At last some respite for Rabia Khan, mother of bollywood actress Jiah Khan who was found dead in her residence at Mumbai in 2013.
The Bombay high court on Thursday ordered the Mumbai Police to hand over the case to the CBI, thirteen months after the actress was found dead. The court came with this order after Rabia Khan filed a plea last October seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The court also pulled up the CBI for its reluctance to take up the case investigation on grounds of shortage of manpower, as stated by CBI counsel Vedika Gonsalves.
"It is not expected of CBI to come out with such an excuse - that they do not have enough officers to conduct a probe. In a country of one billion people, an agency like CBI should not take such a stance otherwise, where will the citizens go to seek justice," Justice Kanade noted.
He added that two officers of the US Consulate remained present throughout the hearing as the deceased was an American citizen.
"This shows how much concern that country has for its citizens. Look at our own agency which is refusing to do the probe... they (CBI) should learn from their (US) example," he said.
The presence of the US consulate officials came in the wake of Rabia's letter to then US envoy Nancy Powell seeking Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s help in the probe, and the US agency saying it was prepared to do so if India permitted.
'Nishabd' actress Jiah Khan who was an US citizen, 25, was found dead in her Juhu residence late on June 3, 2013. A suicide note was apparently recovered by the police later purportedly penned by her.
Sooraj Pancholi, son of the bollywood actor Aditya Pancholi was arrested for allegedly abetting Jiah Khan's suicide. He was later released on bail.
Rabia Khan who was dissatisfied with the probe, moved the high court and submitted reports by independent experts to support her contention that her daughter Jiah Khan was murdered.
Finally, the high court has ordered the Mumbai police to hand over the case to CBI.