‘Nut king’ held on charges of raping maid
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‘Nut king’ held on charges of raping maid

J Rajmohan Pillai, a wealthy businessmen from a prominent family, has been placed in judicial custody.

india Updated: Jul 04, 2017 23:46 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram,Nut King,Britannia Industries
Police said that Pillai tried to “hush up” the case against him.

Early on Tuesday, the Kerala Police arrested dry fruit magnate J Rajmohan Pillai, who is suspected of raping his domestic help.

According to J Sparjan Kumar, the police commissioner of Thiruvananthapuram, a local court subsequently sent Pillai into judicial custody for 14 days.

Kumar said that the allegation came to light after the victim, 22, tried to get an abortion. A native of Odisha, she found a doctor who was a fellow Odia and confided in him the circumstances of her pregnancy. He, in turn, alerted the police.

The victim said to authorities that Odia is the only language she can speak, which prevented her from reporting the incident earlier. She was apparently hired as a maid by the businessman six months ago, and was sexually assaulted regularly during that period. The police are investigating how she got the job with a view to the possibility of human trafficking.

Pillai told the investigating team that the sex was consensual, which the victim denies. Police said that Pillai had earlier tried to “hush up” the case to no avail.

He is the chairman of the Beta Group, which owns the brand Nut King, the source of Pillai’s moniker. According to one of his senior business partners, Pillai is worth Rs 10,000 crore. His brother was the late Rajan Pillai, a famously flamboyant businessman who, in the 1980s and early 90s, ran Asia operations for corporate giants Nabisco and Huntley & Palmers. The latter group controlled Britannia Industries, India’s largest manufacturer of biscuits, earning the other Pillai brother his own flashy nickname: ‘biscuit baron’.

In 1993, Rajan was convicted of cheating and criminal breach of trust in Singapore. He fled the country on the day of his sentencing. Two years later, he was arrested in a hotel in New Delhi, and soon thereafter died in prison after being denied treatment for a chronic liver condition.

It is now Rajmohan who finds himself jailed and facing a serious criminal charge.

First Published: Jul 04, 2017 23:46 IST