‘India’s Most Wanted’ Host Sentenced to Life for Murder of Wife
Former TV producer Suhaib Ilyasi on Wednesday, 20 December, was awarded life imprisonment by a Delhi court for the murder of his wife, Anju. The court had ruled out the demand for death sentence to Ilyasi, on account of the fact that this case didn’t fall under the ‘rarest of rare’ category.
Ilyasi used to host the popular TV series ‘India’s Most Wanted.’
Ilyasi was arrested back in 2000 when he was found guilty of having murdered his wife, Anju, and additional charges were later imposed on him based on his mother-in-law and sister-in-law’s allegations that he tortured his wife for dowry.
Additional Sessions Judge SK Malhotra imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on Ilyasi, who was convicted on December 16 for stabbing to death his wife.
The court also directed that Rs 10 lakh would be paid as compensation to parents of Anju, which would be borne by Ilyasi.
Ilyasi, who was brought from Tihar jail, shouted that he was innocent and the award of life sentence was “injustice.”
Further, the prosecutor said that Ilyasi, who was supposed to be a protector, became a killer and the case fell within the realms of rarest of rare.
Ilyasi's counsel sought leniency saying he has faced an 18-year-long trial and three months in custody.
The counsel also said that he (Ilyasi) never violated the bail conditions, successfully ran magazines covering bureaucrats, and has no criminal antecedents.
The conviction under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for murder entails punishment either life imprisonment or death.
However, Anju's mother, Rukma Singh, and sister, Rashmi Singh, moved the Delhi High Court, which in August 2014 ruled that the TV producer would be tried under Section 302 for murder.
Anju was rushed to a hospital on January 11, 2000 with stab wounds she received at her East Delhi residence.
Time-Line of Events Leading up to the Sentence
- January 10, 2000: Anju Ilyasi found dead at their East Delhi residence with multiple stab wounds.
- January 18, 2000: A panel of doctors at AIIMS says that the injuries on the victim appear self-inflicted and suicidal.
- March 28, 2000: Ilyasi arrested on charges of dowry harassment and murder levelled by sister-in-law and mother- in-law.
- October, 2002: Charge sheet filed against Ilyasi for dowry death.
- March 29, 2003: Trial court frames charges under Section 498A and 304B of the IPC against Ilyasi.
- July 17, 2003: Prosecutor filed application in trial court for adding murder charge.
- February 3, 2004: Trial court dismisses the application.
- July 12, 2005: Victim's mother moves application for fresh investigation.
- August 4, 2005: Application dismissed.
- August 19, 2010: Plea to add murder charge filed again.
- February 19, 2011: Trial court rejects the plea. Ilyasi's mother-in-law moves Delhi HC seeking framing of additional charge of murder.
- May, 2012: A new medical board set up to look into injuries suffered by Ilyasi's wife.
- Jan 5, 2013: Ilyasi moves HC objecting to constitution of a new medical board.
- Jan 7, 2013: HC stays order for a fresh medical board after Ilyasi challenges the order.
- Aug 12, 2014: HC dismisses Ilyasi's objection to the fresh medical board and allows adding of murder charge. Ilyasi moves SC against the order.
- Aug 21, 2014: SC dismisses Ilyasi's challenging HC order asking him to face murder charges for his wife's death.
- Dec 16, 2017: Delhi court convicts Ilyasi of stabbing his wife to death.
- Dec 20, 2017: Court sentences Ilyasi to life imprisonment.