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 judgement 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 to 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 2 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 section 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 after his sister-in-law and mother-in-law alleged that he used to torture Anju for dowry.