The duo were also found guilty of inflicting cruelty on the deceased Sarika as she failed to give in to her in-law family's demand for gold ornaments.
Dismissing their appeals, justices P D Kode and Vijaya Tahilramani held last week that the trial court had rightly sentenced Sachin Borhade and his mother Suman, both residents of Khed taluka in Pune district, to life imprisonment for murder and another two years for cruelty.
Sachin often suspected his wife's character and even doubted she was carrying the child of someone else and not him. On February 25, 2005, Sachin poured kerosene on Sarika while his mother ignited a match stick and flung it on her.
As Sarika's sari caught fire, she tried to put out the flames with a quilt. An injured Sarika was rushed to hospital, where she passed away after few days. The court noted that the dying declaration had revealed that after Sarika was set on fire, Sachin's mother Suman stood outside the door of the kitchen and did not allow her daughter-in-law to come out.
"It reveals that the fire was extinguished by the victim by using quilt and not by her husband. The evidence definitely denotes that the act committed by the appellants cannot be said to be an act that occurred at their hands in a heat of anger.
On the contrary, the evidence denotes that the same were calculated acts," the judges noted. "Having regard to the nature of the acts committed by them, we find it difficult to accept that the appellants were not entertaining the intention to commit the murder of the deceased. Hence, we do not find any fault with such a finding arrived by the trial Court for the cogent reasons given," the judges said.