New Delhi: A Delhi court today sentenced former TV anchor and producer Suhaib Ilyasi to life imprisonment for killing his wife Anju more than 17 years ago, saying he “committed murder and gave it a colour of suicide”.
The court ruled out that the case was in the realm of the rarest of the rare category warranting death penalty to the host of famous show ‘India’s Most Wanted’ and said ends of justice would be met if the convict is sentenced to life term.
“In the case in hand, it has been held that the convict, who was the husband of the deceased, committed her murder and gave it a colour of suicide,” Additional Sessions Judge SK Malhotra said.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on Ilyasi, who was convicted on 16 December for stabbing to death his wife and also directed that Rs 10 lakh would be paid as compensation to parents of Anju which would be borne by him.
“Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the opinion that the ends of justice would be sub- served if the convict is sentenced under section 302 of the IPC to imprisonment for life and also to pay a fine of Rs 2 lakh in default of payment of fine to further undergo SI for six months,” the court said.
Immediately after the pronouncement of the order, 51 year-old Ilyasi, who was brought from Tihar jail, shouted that he was innocent and the award of life sentence is an “injustice”. His father Jameel Ilyasi and brother were also present in the courtroom.
Rukma Singh, Anju’s mother, expressed satisfaction over the court’s order and said, “I am satisfied with the verdict as long as he is convicted I am fine.”
During the arguments on sentence, the prosecution said Ilyasi committed his wife’s murder in a brutal manner and capital punishment should be awarded as he does not deserve any leniency.
The prosecution said the case fell into the category of rarest of rare as the convict “betrayed the faith of not only his wife but of the public at large” as he was producing a TV serial and his image in the eyes of the public was that of a law abiding citizen.
The advocate appearing for Ilyasi claimed that the case was based on circumstantial evidence and that he faced the trial for 17 years without violating the bail condition and his conduct was good before the court.
Earlier, Ilyasi was only charged with milder sections including 304 B (dowry death) of the IPC.
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 the offence of murder.
Anju was rushed to a hospital on 11 January, 2000 with stab wounds she received at her East Delhi residence.
Suhaib, who had shot into limelight after hosting TV crime show – ‘India’s Most Wanted’, was arrested on March 28, 2000 and later charges were framed against him in the case after his sister-in-law and mother-in-law alleged that he used to torture his wife for dowry.