Former TV anchor Suhaib Ilyasi who was facing life imprisonment for killing his wife Anju 18 years ago was today acquitted by the Delhi High Court. Ilyasi, who was famous for hosting TV crime show – ‘India’s Most Wanted’, was earlier charged for “committing murder and giving it a colour of suicide.”
Ilyasi’s daughter Aaliya, who was present at the time of pronouncement of the verdict, expressed happiness and said she always had trust in her father. “I am very very happy. I am not able to express myself much right now. For all this while, we were silent about it because the judgement was yet to come. We have suffered a lot but I trust my father completely and I had always trusted him,” she said, reported PTI.
Illyasi who shot to fame with his TV show met Anju while studying at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University’s Mass Communication Research Centre in 1989. Families of both Ilyasi and Anju were opposed to their marriage. The couple, however, got married in London in 1993. Anju later changed her name to Afsan.
Both Ilyasi and Anju then pitched a crime show to multiple TV channels. While many were wary with the idea, Zee TV took up the show – India’s Most Wanted. Ilyasi immediately shot to the limelight. It was only planned for 52 episodes but the success led to Zee renewing the contract for additional episodes.
Read | Who is Suhaib Ilyasi?
Meanwhile, the married life of Illyasi and Anju reportedly hit a rough patch. In January 2000, Anju was rushed to a hospital with multiple stab wounds and was declared dead on arrival. The police had initially suspected the death to be suicide but later arrested Ilaysi for dowry harassment in March 2000. The arrest was made based on the complaint of Anju’s sister and mother.
A trial court in Delhi framed charges under Section 498A and 304B of the IPC against Ilyasi. A plea was made by Anju’s mother to add murder charge against Ilyasi. The court, however, rejected the plea. The family then approached the Delhi High Court which also rejected the petition in 2005.
In 2011, a new medical board was set up to examine Anju’s injuries. In 2014, the Delhi High Court stayed the order for a fresh board but added the additional murder charge in the case. The trial court in 2017sentenced Ilyasi to life imprisonment for stabbing his wife to death.
Ilyasi then moved the Supreme Court, which asked him to approach the Delhi High Court. The Delhi HC today acquitted him of all charges. Earlier this year, Ilyasi was granted interim bail for four weeks to take care of his second wife, who was unwell.