A court in New Delhi on Wednesday sentenced former TV producer/host Suhaib Ilyasi to life imprisonment for murdering his wife in 2000.
Additional Sessions Judge SK Malhotra also slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakh on the convict and directed him to pay Rs 10 lakh to Anju Ilyasi's family.
"It has been held that the convict (Ilyasi), who was the husband of the deceased, committed her murder and gave it a colour of suicide.
"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 (murder) of the IPC to imprisonment for life," said the court, which had convicted Ilyasi for his wife's murder on December 16.
Ilyasi, also the editor-in-chief of Bureaucracy Today magazine, faced trial for 17 years in the dowry death of his wife.
The prosecution has sought death penalty for Ilyasi, opining that he was supposed to act as a protector of his wife but he killed her. His act fell under the category of rarest of rare case as he had given "a painful death to his wife".
But Ilyasi claimed innocence, denied the charges and termed the life sentence as an "injustice".
The defence counsel sought leniency for Ilyasi saying that he had never violated the bail conditions and faced the trial for 17 years. The counsel also said that he is successfully running magazines covering bureaucrats and has no criminal antecedents.
Anju's mother Rukma Singh welcomed the judgement and expressed her satisfaction over the court's order.
In 2014, the Delhi High Court had asked the trial court to add the graver charge of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code against Ilyasi following a plea by Anju's mother Rukma Singh.
Anju died on January 11, 2000, at her Mayur Vihar house. Ilyasi was arrested on March 28, 2000 and later released on bail. The trial court had framed charges against him relating to dowry death and subjecting a woman to cruelty (Section 304 (b) and Section 498 (A)). After the High Court order, Ilyasi was charged with murder.
Ilyasi shot into the limelight after hosting the reality TV show "India's Most Wanted".