A gold-digging husband in India has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife with a highly venomous cobra.

According to prosecutors, Sooraj Kumar married his 25-year-old wife for financial gains and was conspiring to kill her to inherit her wealth. He was arrested last year and found guilty on Monday for obtaining a poisonous cobra from a snake charmer, starving it and throwing the hungry snake on his wife while she slept. 

Kumar, 28, received a double life sentence on Wednesday and was ordered to pay a fine of 500,000 rupees ($6,635) for the murder of his wife. 

"If he divorces her he will have to part with all her wealth," Hariram Shankar, assistant superintendent of police in Kerala, told NBC News. "If he kills her through an explicit murder weapon, the wealth would also have to be returned. So he wanted to get rid of her through something that would resemble an accident."

"But in the course of our investigation, we found that this was a well-planned murder," Shankar said.

Though Kumar pleaded not guilty, the police said his phone records showed he was in touch with snake handlers and had watched snake videos on the internet before killing his wife, CBS News said.

Uthra was found dead in her home in May 2020. She was still recovering from a suspicious viper bite she had gotten a few weeks earlier, which was also linked back to Kumar, the BBC noted.