India's Most Wanted Presenter Suhaib Ilyasi Jailed for Life For Murdering His Wife

Suhaib Ilyasi
Suhaib Ilyasi, producer and director of India's Most Wanted, was convicted of stabbing to death his wife Anju Ilyasi in 2000. YouTube screenshot

The host of a popular TV crime show in India has been jailed for life after he was found guilty of murdering his wife in 2000.

Suhaib Ilyasi, producer and director of India's Most Wanted, was convicted of stabbing to death his wife Anju Ilyasi.

The 51-year-old man, who reported his wife's death at the time, claimed the woman had killed herself. But a court in Delhi said on Wednesday (December 20) his claim was inconsistent with medical reports and other evidence.

"This court reaches the inescapable conclusion that the defence taken by accused that the deceased had committed suicide by stabbing herself at their residence, is not acceptable since the prosecution evidence coupled with other material on record does not indicate that she committed suicide," the court said, according to Indian news site Economic Times.

Prosecutors initially sought the death penalty for the former TV producer, claiming that he gave "a painful death to his wife," ABP News reported.

Ilyasi maintains he is innocent and said he will appeal against the verdict. After being sentenced to life in prison, he broke down in court and reportedly said: "I'm innocent, this is injustice."

Anju's death was treated as a suicide until the victim's mother demanded Ilyasi be tried for murder.

The motives behind the murder may be multiple. It was claimed that the man had tortured his wife in order to get more dowry money from her family, the BBC reported.

However, the Economic Times said Ilyasi killed his wife as he feared she could disclose his fraudulent acts and forgeries at the time when his career was at its peak.

The court said Ilyasi possessed two passports, used a fake degree for work and had committed credit card fraud.

"The evidence on record also suggests that the accused was at pinnacle of his career and had earned immense reputation/success from his show 'India's Most Wanted' and his wife deceased Anju, who knew about all the forgeries and wrong acts i.e possessing two passports, using fake degree for job, committing credit card fraud etc. could have let public know about these facts, which could very easily ruin his hard earned success, since she had made up her mind to leave the accused and settle down in n Canada," Additional Sessions Judge S K Malhotra said.

"As such, the circumstances so appeared would have impelled the accused to go to any extent."