Jiah Khan was found hanging in her Juhu apartment in June 2013, and over the last three years, the actor's death has been the subject of mystery for people all over the country.
From Jiah Khan's then-boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi being charged with abetment to suicide to the CBI later pronouncing Jiah's death as suicide, the case has seen several twists and turns over the years.
The newest development in the Jiah Khan death case is a shocking one: a British forensic expert hired by Jiah's mother Rabia Khan has found that the 'hanging was staged'.
A report in Mumbai Mirror states that the findings by the UK forensic expert hired by Jiah's mother Rabia are in contradiction with the conclusion reached by the CBI.
Rabia wants to share the developments with a Mumbai sessions court tomorrow (September 21), but is not sure if the court will pay any heed to the findings by a forensic expert hired independently by her.
Forensic expert Jason Payne-James's report comes a month after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) ruled out murder in the Jiah Khan death case.
Over the last three years, Rabia has time and again reiterated her view that Jiah could not have committed suicide. Khan, whose debut in Bollywood happened alongside Amitabh Bachchan in the controversial film Nishabd in 2007. Jiah then went on to work in Ghajini (2008) with Aamir Khan. The actor was found hanging at her Juhu residence on June 3, 2013.
She was in a relationship with Aditya Pancholi's son Sooraj Pancholi back then. According to the state's forensic experts, the injury marks on Jiah's lower lip were said to be the result of "friction with the teeth during the commission of the act (suicide)".
However, Payne-James has said in his report 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)". "In terms of their site and appearance, they are not typical of teeth marks," the report goes on to state.
The ligature marks on Jiah's neck, the state forensic experts said, "may be caused due to slippage of ligature material [dupatta] slightly downwards or the ligature knot present at that site". Payne-James, on the other hand, concluded that such impressions could not have been created by the dupatta. "It would seem unlikely that the diffuse pressure of the dupatta around the neck would cause the well-defined abraded ligature mark seen," Payne-James said.
"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," the report states. Aditya Pancholi, however, raised doubts over the admissibility of the report in court.
Pancholi told the tabloid, "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]."
However, if legal experts are to be believed, the latest findings will be taken into account and that no judge would dismiss the developments.