New Delhi, Aug 12 :
The Delhi High Court Tuesday ordered framing of murder charges against former TV serial producer Suhaib Ilyasi, accused in the dowry-death of his wife in 2000.
Justice Indermeet Kaur asked the trial court to add the graver charge of murder under section 302 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Suhaib for his wife’s death.
Suhaib, also the editor-in-chief of Bureaucracy Today magazine, has been facing the trial as an accused for the last 14 years in dowry-death case of his wife Anju Ilyasi.
The high court’s order came on a plea filed by Rukma Singh, Anju’s mother, challenging the Feb 19, 2011 order of a trial court which had rejected her plea for trying Suhaib under the penal provision of murder.
Rukma Singh said her son-in-law (Suhaib) was facing the charge of killing his wife for dowry under section 304 of IPC, which attracts much lesser punishment.
Anju died Jan 11, 2000 at her Mayur Vihar house. Suhaib was arrested March 28, 2000 and charges were later framed against him in the case after his sisters-in-law and mother-in-law alleged that he used to torture his wife for dowry.
In the order, the high court relied upon the testimonies of Anju’s two sisters and held that prima facie the testimonies are sufficient to frame additional murder charges against Suhaib.
“In view of the testimonies of Anju’s sisters recorded on oath are relevant facts which (without this court ruling out interference from them lest they influence the final judgment) are prima facie sufficient to constitute the framing of additional charge under section 302 (murder) of the IPC,” the court said.
“Keeping in view the fact that the case is based on the circumstantial evidence and at the time of framing of charge, it is only a prima facie view of the matter which has to be taken into account. The prima facie material collected by the prosecution justifies the framing of additional charge under section 302 of the IPC.”
The court also rejected Suhaib’s plea against the decision of police of constituting a medical board to examine afresh the reasons of his wife’s death, without getting sanction from the lower court.
Rejecting Suhaib’s plea, the court said: “The opinion of the newly constituted medical board would infact assist the court in coming to a conclusion as to whether the death of the victim was suicidal and homicidal.”
The previous medical board had given split opinion on her death.
Anju’s mother moved to the high court to invoke murder charge against Suhaib while relying upon the statement made by L.C. Gupta, a doctor, who conducted the post-mortem examination and contradicted his earlier findings after over one-and-half years saying homicide could not be ruled out.
Gupta had earlier stated in his report to police that Anju’s injuries were self-inflicted and suicidal in nature. Earlier, the trial court had rejected Rukma Singh’s plea to invoke additional murder charge against her son-in-law Suhaib, saying no fresh evidence had emerged against him.
The trial court framed charges against Suhaib relating to dowry death and subjecting a woman to cruelty (section 304 (b) and section 498 (a)).
Suhaib had shot into the limelight after hosting the reality TV show ‘India’s Most Wanted’.