Nine years after murdering a woman, a lawyer and his wife were awarded double life sentences for the crime. The incident happened in Coimbatore in 2011 and as per reports, the couple will have to undergo trial for another murder that they allegedly committed a year earlier, in 2010.
On December 11, 2011, M Ammasai, a 45-year-old woman, visited ET Rajavelu (52) an advocate seeking legal remedy for a dispute with her husband. However ET Rajavelu, who was looking to somehow save his wife Mohana (47) from a cheating case involving Rs 12 crore under the Odisha police, attacked Ammasai and strangled her with the help of his driver P Palanisamy and killed her. The duo then took the body to Rajavelu’s house where Rajavelu told his neighbours that it was his wife Mohana who had passed away suddenly due to cardiac arrest.
The lawyer then got a doctor to certify Mohana’s death, cremated her and even obtained a death certificate in her name from the Corporation of Coimbatore. Meanwhile, Ammasai’s family lodged a missing person complaint with the police as she had not returned home.
It was in 2013 that the crime started unraveling as Rajavelu and Mohana approached the Registrar’s office to register a property jointly in their names. Based on an anonymous tip-off, the Registration Department refused to register the property since they had a copy of Mohana’s death certificate. Rajavelu, then, had to knock on the doors of the Munsif court claiming that someone had erroneously obtained a death certificate in his wife’s name. The court provided him relief and declared that the death certificate in Mohana’s name was issued by mistake.
With the death certificate being declared ‘a mistake’, the police began to probe who the woman who died in 2011 was, on whose name the death certificate was issued. The Corporation of Coimbatore also lodged a complaint in this regard. Shortly after the probe began, the police arrested driver Palanisamy and his accomplice Ponraj who had signed as witnesses in the crematorium, where the woman was cremated. The police then came to know of Ammasai’s murder and how Rajavelu and Mohana had faked Mohana’s death to save her from another crime. By this time, the couple had fled from Coimbatore and were apprehended from Thiruvananthapuram in December 2013. The case went to trial and it was established that the couple had conspired to murder Ammasai and the couple were ordered to serve double life sentences for these crimes.
However, the owner of the property which Rajavelu and Mohana wanted to register in their names in 2013 was missing since 2010. Upon probe, the police found out that Rajavelu and Mohana had murdered him as well. The case is currently under trial.