HC asks Jiah's mother to reply to defamation suit by Pancholis

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Rabia asked to reply to Pancholis suit
Mumbai, July 9: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked Rabia Khan, mother of Bollywood actress late Jiah Khan, to file her reply within a week to a Rs 100-crore defamation suit filed against her by the actor couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab.

The couple's son Suraj had been charge-sheeted by police with abetting suicide of Jiah. Rabia sought one week to file the response and the matter was adjourned to July 16 by Justice S C Gupte.

Early this week, another bench had transferred the probe into Jiah's death from Mumbai Police to CBI. In the trial court, police had charged Suraj with abetting the suicide of the actor.

The suit, filed by Aditya, wife Zarina and daughter Sana, alleged Rabia, a UK national, had posted slanderous, defamatory and abusive comments on the Twitter which had put the Pancholi family in poor light in the eyes of society.

The suit referred to 18 tweets posted by Rabia between March 4 and May 1

The suit referred to 18 tweets posted by Rabia between March 4 and May 1 which it said were defamatory to the Pancholis. It said in these 18 tweets, Rabia had allegedly made personal comments about the three members of Pancholi family.

The suit said that both Aditya and Zarina had been associated with the film industry for 30 years and earned goodwill in the society. However, due to attack on them by Rabia in her tweets, the family was defamed and several fans, relatives and friends are "shocked and disturbed".

The suit quantifies loss of reputation and goodwill to the Pancholi family at Rs 50 crore, damages for loss of business at Rs 25 crore and harassment at another Rs 25 crore. Rabia has alleged that the Pancholis were doing this only to deter her from pursuing legal remedies in a court of law against Suraj Pancholi.

Jiah (25) was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her Juhu home on June 3 last year. Police suspected that she had committed suicide after Suraj, with whom she had had a live-in relationship, broke up with her.

PTI

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