A court in India has handed down two life sentences, a rarity in Indian courts, against a man accused of killing his wife after enabling a cobra to bite her.
Suraj Kumar has been arrested since last year after his wife was killed by a cobra bite.
Investigations into the incident began after the wife’s family claimed that their daughter had been killed, asserting that they had been harassed by Suraj because of the dowry.
The court convicted the husband of releasing a cobra in the bed of his wife, Uthra, while she was sleeping.
The 25-year-old housewife was found dead in her home in May last year.
And the family had doubts about the way their daughter Uthra died because she was bitten by a Russell python a few weeks before her death. The wife was still recovering from that bite when a cobra bit her, killing her.
Police investigations suggested that Suraj was behind the two incidents, and the police arrested the man who facilitated the recruitment of snakes, and who turned into a witness who helped the authorities solve the case.
The Indian legal website Live Law said that the police indictment of the husband, which reached a thousand pages, clearly detailed the existence of the conspiracy element and how it was planned and executed by Suraj.
The prosecution described the case as “the most rare of the rare cases”, demanding the death penalty for the husband.
The judge also said it was a rare case and handed down two life sentences to Suraj and ordered him to pay a fine of 500,000 rupees.