According to her statement before dying, the fight took place after about six months of the marriage where Singh asked her to leave the house - Representational image REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

In a rare judgment, a court in New Delhi has sentenced an 80-year-old man to life imprisonment for killing his granddaughter-in-law by setting her on fire.

"Instead of taking care of his granddaughter-in-law and making her comfortable to the fullest, he had indulged himself in smothering the life which was yet to blossom," district and sessions Judge Deepak Jagotra said.

The victim, Farha, was married to Chander Singh's grandson. The fight took place after about six months of the marriage when Singh asked her to leave the house.

During the argument Singh poured kerosene on the victim and burned her alive, she said in her dying declaration. Farha also claimed her brother-in-law and his wife had witnessed the fight.

She has said that her husband was in the washroom at the time of the incident, and was the one to rush to extinguish the fire.

The husband reportedly turned out to be the only hostile witness to the prosecution's case, which the court said was understandable.

The court also ruled out any tutoring or prompting, which could have influenced the victim's dying declaration.

Singh's defence lawyer said that the post-mortem examination revealed the victim died of septicaemia and not burns.

The court, however, said, "It can easily be gathered if there are no burn injuries in the body, the same cannot trigger septicaemia." The woman had survived for nine days before succumbing to the burn injuries.

"The convict has committed such a crime at this last stage of his life.... For such an offence, he deserves no leniency and deserves appropriate punishment," the court said, according to a report in Times of India newspaper on 29 September. Singh has been slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 (£227).