Coimbatore

Coimbatore lawyer, wife get double life term in 2011 murder

A file photo of R. Mohana (left) and E.T. Rajavel (right)   | Photo Credit: K_Ananthan

The Fifth Additional District Court in Coimbatore on Monday awarded double life sentence to advocate E.T. Rajavel (52) and his wife R. Mohana (45) for the murder of a 45-year-old woman in 2011 that they had plotted and executed to fake Mohana’s death.

Judge T.H. Mohammed Farooq also sentenced the couple’s driver P. Palanisamy (48) from Podanur to undergo life imprisonment for his role in the murder of the woman, Ammasai, from Sivananda Colony.

Ammasai had approached Rajavel for legal consultation on December 10, 2011. The woman visited the advocate again at his office at Gopalapuram near Coimbatore Collectorate on December 11, after which she was reported missing.

While the Rathinapuri police registered a case following Ammasai’s missing, Rajavel made relatives and others believe that Mohana had died of a sudden health complication and the body was cremated on December 12. He managed to obtain a death certificate in the name of Mohana.

However, the police, based on inputs given by the registration department officials, found that Mohana was alive as she and Rajavel made efforts to get a property registered in her name later.

The couple, Palanisamy and their aide P. Ponraj (39) alias Ponnarasu from Pillaiyarpuram were arrested in December 2013, nearly two years after the murder.

The investigating team found that Rajavel murdered Ammasai with the help of Palanisamy and Ponraj at his office on December 11, 2012 to fake the death of Mohana who was then wanted by the Odisha police in a cheating case involving ₹12 crore.

Apart from the two life terms, Rajavel was awarded five sets of seven years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) and a two years of RI for other offences including forgery and destruction of evidence. The court also awarded seven years of RI to Mohana and Palanisamy for two different offences. All the sentences will run concurrently.

The judge slapped a total fine of ₹80,000 on Rajavel, ₹55,000 on Mohana and ₹30,000 on Palanisamy.

Special Public Prosecutor U. Sankaranarayanan said the court also ordered that the legal heirs of the murdered woman be paid ₹ 1.2 lakh from the total penalty.

Ammasai’s husband Marimuthu, son Rajendran and daughter Sagunthaladevi were present in the court when the verdict was pronounced. “We feel happy as the court has finally punished the guilty,” said Mr. Rajendran.

Ponraj, who was an approver in the case in the initial stage, was not part of the trial as he later turned hostile. The prosecution has filed an application for a separate trial of Ponraj for his role in the murder.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 2:15:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/coimbatore-lawyer-wife-get-double-life-term-in-2011-murder/article33215964.ece

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