MUMBAI : Relying on the dying declaration of the deceased the Bombay High Court has upheld the life sentence to a woman who allegedly killed her step-daughter-in-law for dowry.

A division bench headed by Justice Vijaya Tahilramani was hearing an appeal filed by a Sangli-based Sitabai Londhe challenging her conviction and life sentence.

The deceased Surekha was married to the stepson of Sitabai in 2007,eight months prior to her death. She had told her family that she was ill-treated by her in laws for Rs 10,000. On March 23,2008,  Sitabai allegedly poured kerosene on the deceased and ignited her with match stick which caused her death.

Sitabai, along with the husband and in-laws of the deceased were booked  for murder.

The lower court sentenced life to the accused. Sitabai preferred an appeal before the high court challenging her conviction.

The high court relied on the dying declaration of the deceased and said, “she has stated that her marriage was solemnised 8 months before and she was ill-treated by the appellant, step mother-in-law as well as other accused.

 She has further stated that on 23rd March, 2008 at about 3.00 p.m. she was sleeping in the house, the appellant poured kerosene on her person and ignited her with a match stick.

She further stated that then she raised cries and neighbours came and poured water on her person to extinguished the fire.” The court noted that the prosecution has established the case against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt.

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