The Delhi High Court on Friday acquitted former TV anchor and producer Suhaib Ilyasi in his wife’s murder case.
A Bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel allowed the appeal of Ilyasi challenging his conviction and life imprisonment for killing his wife, Anju, 18 years ago.
“The appeal is allowed,” the Bench said.
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 judgment was yet to come. We have suffered a lot but I trust my father completely and I had always trusted him,” she said.
The trial court had on December 20, 2017, sentenced Ilyasi, who had shot into limelight after hosting TV crime show — ‘India’s Most Wanted’, to life term for stabbing his wife to death, saying he “committed murder and gave it a colour of suicide”.
The high court, which had on April 26 granted interim bail to Ilyasi, refused to extend the relief on May 14.
He later moved the Supreme Court which also refused to grant him interim bail.
Ilyasi, in his appeal moved through advocate Rajiv Mohan, has claimed that the police had not collected any material for three months after the incident and there was no evidence to charge him for the offence of murder.
The police had claimed that he had misled the investigating agency, proving his involvement in the crime.
It had also imposed a fine of Rs two lakh on him and directed that Rs 10 lakh be paid as compensation to Anju’s parents.
Earlier, Ilyasi 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.
Anju was rushed to a hospital on January 11, 2000 with stab wounds she received at her East Delhi residence. She was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
Ilyasi was arrested on March 28, 2000. Charges were framed against him in the case after his sister-in-law and mother-in-law alleged that he used to torture Anju for dowry.
Following is the chronology of events in which the High Court on Friday acquitted him in his wife's murder case:
January 10, 2000: Anju Ilyasi found dead at their East Delhi residence with multiple stab wounds.
January 18: Panel of doctors at AIIMS says injuries on the victim appear self-inflicted and suicidal.
March 28: Suhaib Ilyasi arrested on charges of dowry harassment and murder levelled by sister-in-law and mother- in-law.
October 2002: Charge sheet filed against Suhaib Ilyasi for dowry death.
March 29, 2003: Trial court frames charges under Section 498A and 304B of the IPC against Suhaib Ilyasi.
July 17: Prosecutor files application in trial court for adding murder charge.
Feb 3, 2004: Trial court dismisses application.
July 12, 2005: Victim's mother moves application for fresh investigation.
August 4: Application dismissed.
August 19, 2010: Plea to add murder charge filed again.
February 19, 2011: Trial court rejects the plea. Suhaib Ilyasi's mother-in-law moves Delhi High Court seeking framing of additional
charge of murder.
May, 2012: New medical board set up to look into injuries suffered by Suhaib Ilyasi's wife.
January 5, 2013: Suhaib Ilyasi moves High Court objecting to constitution of new medical board.
January 7, 2013: High Court stays order for a fresh medical board after Suhaib Ilyasi challenges the order.
August 12, 2014: High Court dismisses Suhaib Ilyasi's objection to the fresh medical board and allows adding of murder charge. Suhaib Ilyasi moves SC against the order.
August 21: Supreme Court dismisses Suhaib Ilyasi's plea challenging High Court order asking him to face murder charges for his wife's death.
December 16, 2017: Delhi court finds Suhaib Ilyasi guilty of stabbing his wife to death.
December 20: Court sentences Suhaib Ilyasi to life imprisonment.
March 13, 2018: Suhaib Ilyasi moves High Court against life term.
March 15: High Court seeks response from Delhi Police on Suhaib Ilyasi's plea.
April 26, 2018: High Court grants interim bail of four weeks to Suhaib Ilyasi.
May 14: High Court refuses to extend interim bail.
May 31: Supreme Court asks Suhaib Ilyasi to approach High Court for interim bail.
August 17: High Court reserves verdict.
October 5: High Court acquits Suhaib Ilyasi