“I Have Been Saying For 18 Years That I Am Innocent”: Suhiab Ilyasi, After Acquittal In Wife’s Murder Case
The Logical Indian Crew Delhi
October 10th, 2018 / 3:03 PM
After over 18 years of legal battle, former TV anchor and producer Suhaib Ilyasi, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife in 2000 was acquitted by the Delhi High Court on October 5.
Suhaib Ilyasi acquitted of murder
Ilyasi, who shot to fame as the host of popular crime show “India’s Most Wanted” had appealed against the conviction and imprisonment. The Delhi High Court overruled the judgement of the lower court which in 2017 had pronounced Ilyasi guilty of the murder. Reportedly, the lower court had also asked him to pay Rs 10 lakh to his deceased wife’s parents.
He told NDTV, “I have been saying for 18 years that I am innocent. Now the honourable court has also said it.” Ilyasi admits that the last 18 years have been “hell” for him and while inside Tihar Jail, he gained strength from reading the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. For the 52-year-old, the task at hand after becoming a free man is to relaunch his once hit TV show and also work on making the religious scriptures reader-friendly.
What had happened?
All came crashing for Ilyasi and his family after his wife, Anju Ilyasi was found dead on January 10, 2000, with multiple stab wounds in their East Delhi residence. She was pronounced brought dead to the hospital where she was taken. The circumstances of her death raised suspicion however, post-mortem reports said that the injuries appeared to be self-inflicted and that there was no foul play on part of her husband.
However, Anju’s sister Rashmi returned from Canada and approached the Delhi police claiming that she had evidence to prove that Anju was being tortured by Ilyasi over dowry. Following this, he was arrested in March of the same year on charges of abetment to suicide under Sections 498A (dowry harassment) and 304B (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
In 2003, the case went on trial while the deceased’s sister and mother made efforts to enhance the charge from Section 304B to murder under Section 302. They reportedly moved the Delhi High Court with their plea and finally in 2014, the Delhi High Court enhanced changes against Ilyasi. The trial court in December 2017 found Ilyasi guilty of the murder, a verdict which was challenged before the High Court.
What did the High Court say?
A bench of justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel set aside the trial court’s verdict and said that the prosecution has failed to prove his guilt for the offence of murder. The bench in its 112-page long verdict said that the fact that death was homicidal had not been proved by the prosecution.
“In view of the evidence of the medical professionals who comprised the first medical board and in light of the medical literature, this court rejects the plea of the prosecution that the medical evidence unmistakably and conclusively proves that the death was a homicide,” said the bench.
Aaliya, his daughter who was also present at the court said that she was very happy to hear the verdict and that even though the family suffered a lot she still has trust in her father who had to suffer the 18-year-long ordeal.
Written by : Sromona Bhattacharyya
Edited by : Abhinav Joshi