British Forensic Reports Suggest Jiah’s Hanging Was Staged

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Mumbai: In a shocking twist to the Jiah Khan suicide, a British forensic expert has stated in his report that the Bollywood actor’s hanging was staged and that the marks on her face and neck indicate that it wasn’t a case of suicide.

A report in Mumbai Mirror stated that the findings of Jason Payne-James contradict those of Indian experts. The paper also reported that Jiah’s mother Rabia intends to share the report with Mumbai sessions court on Wednesday. As per the report , Payne-James studied the medical and post-mortem reports, and also analysed pictures of of Jiah’s body apart from reviewing CCTV grabs and images of her room as part of his investigation.

While the state’s forensic experts claimed that injury marks on Jiah’s lower lip were perhaps the result of “friction with the teeth during the commission of the act (suicide)”, according to Payne-James the injuries “represent either abrasions or bruises”, and are indicative of “blunt force trauma to the mouth region (for example hand placed over the mouth)”. “They are not typical of teeth marks,” report added.

Further, while state forensic experts termed the ligature marks on Jiah’s neck as something that “may be caused due to slippage of ligature material [dupatta] slightly downwards or the ligature knot present at that site”, Payne-James’ report contradicted this as well. “It would seem unlikely that the diffuse pressure of the dupatta around the neck would cause the well-defined abraded ligature mark seen,” his report explained.

It further reported that British forensic experts also ruled out the possibility of the dupatta creating marks on Jiah’s lower jaw, contradicting state experts’ opinion that said the injury may have been caused by multiple knots on the dupatta. “I would have expected any forensic specialist to have insisted on seeing the dupatta. I do not see that there is any realistic possibility of the dupatta creating the patterned injury under the chin. Other causes or objects should have been considered such as a blunt impact from a patterned object, or a ligature made of different material,” Payne-James’s report concluded.

A month ago, the CBI informed the Bombay High Court that it had no reason to suspect murder in the case. Jiah was found hanging from her residence in Juhu, Mumbai in June 2003. In December last year, the CBI charged Sooraj Pancholi with abetment to suicide. Rabia, however, was unhappy with the developments in the case, and thus roped in Payne-James of UK-based Forensic Healthcare Services Ltd.

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