Ilyasi, 52, was sentenced to life in jail for stabbing his wife Anju to death 18 years ago
New Delhi: Former TV anchor Suhaib Ilyasi, famous for his popular crime show ‘India’s Most Wanted’, was acquitted by the Delhi High Court on Friday in his wife’s murder case.
Ilyasi, 52, was sentenced to life in jail for stabbing his wife Anju to death 18 years ago and had appealed against his conviction and imprisonment. The trial court had said he had "committed murder and given it a colour of suicide". It also asked him to pay Rs 10 lakh to his wife's parents.
On Friday, a Delhi High Court bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel set aside the trial court order convicting Ilyasi and said there was no evidence against him and that the prosecution too failed to establish the murder charges.
Anju died in hospital on January 11, 2000, of multiple stab wounds. She had been found at her home in east Delhi. The police after months of investigation found evidence against Suhaib and he was arrested on March 28, 2000. He was charged after his wife's mother and sister alleged he used to torture his wife for dowry.
The trial court judge had said evidence suggested Ilyasi, at the prime of his career, was afraid that his wife would ruin him by exposing his alleged acts of fraud. Anju, the court noted, had decided to leave Ilyasi and settle down in Canada.
During one of the trials, Ilyasi had shouted that he was innocent and the life sentence was "injustice".
Family sources said Ilyasi met Anju at Jamia Millia Islamia, where both studied at the Mass Communication Research Centre in 1989. Both the families were against their relation, but they got married in London in 1993. In 1995, their daughter Aaliya was born.
During their stay in London, both had floated the idea of a television show, Crimestoppers, and named India's Most Wanted. Initially, Anju was the anchor in the television pilots, but Ilyasi started hosting the shows on Zee TV in March 1998, which led to some problems between them.
Around this time, Anju left and went to stay with her sister in Canada. India's Most Wanted became an instant hit on Zee TV. Later, Ilyasi moved the show to Doordarshan under the name Fugitive Most Wanted.
Anju returned in February 1999 and both settled peacefully in Delhi’s Mayur Vihar. On 10 January 2000, Ilyasi called two police constables at 11:15pm and told them that his wife had accidently stabbed herself. Anju was taken to a nearby nursing home and later to the AIIMS, New Delhi, where she was declared dead on arrival.
Initially, Ilyasi tried misleading the police. He was charged with milder provisions, including 304 B (dowry death) of the IPC. However, Anju’s mother Rukma Singh and sister Rashmi Singh had moved the Delhi High Court, which, in August 2014 , ruled that the former TV producer would be tried under Section 302 of the IPC for the offence of murder.
They added that Ilyasi used to torture Anju for dowry.
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Last Updated Oct 5, 2018, 1:08 PM IST