Former TV anchor and producer Suhaib Ilyasi, who was sentenced to life in jail for the murder of his wife 18 years ago, has been acquitted, says the Press Trust of India.
Suhaib Ilyasi, who became a household name as the host of popular crime show “India’s Most Wanted”, had appealed against his conviction and imprisonment.
Ilyasi’s daughter Aaliyah, who was at the court when the verdict came, 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,” Aaliyah said.
The 52-year-old was jailed on December 16 last year after he was convicted by a trial court of charges of stabbing his wife Anju to death. The court 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.
His own life matching an episode of his show, Ilyasi had shouted, while being led out of court, that he was innocent and the life sentence was “injustice”.
Anju Ilyasi died in hospital on January 11, 2000, of multiple stab wounds. She had been found at her home in east Delhi. After months of investigation, Suhaib Ilyasi was arrested on March 28 that year. 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.
Earlier this year, Ilyasi was granted interim bail for four weeks to take care of his second wife, who was unwell.