"Sessions Judge Sayeedunnisa, who found on June 20 Kumar guilty of killing his 20th victim in Bengaluru in July 2009, sentenced him to life imprisonment under section 302 of the IPC," Sullia police inspector M.R. Harish told IANS.
The 25-year-old victim, who hailed from Sullia, near this port city in Dakshina Kannada district, was a cook in a women's hostel at Kasargod in Kerala, when she got acquainted with Kumar, a teacher then, who promised to marry her.
Mohan Kumar is lodged at Hindalga central jail at Belagavi, after he was convicted and sentenced to death in four murder cases and life imprisonment in 15 similar cases over the last decade.
The judge also slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on him, 10 years and Rs 5,000 for feeding poison, 7 years and Rs 5,000 for rape, 5 years and Rs 5,000 for robbing the victim's jewellery and destroying evidence.
In all, the court cross-examined 46 witnesses, inspected 89 documents and 31 assets.
Mohan Kumar was arrested in this case in October 2009 after the victim's family recognised him when his photo was published in a local newspaper following a missing complaint her younger sister filed in the Sullia police station over a decade ago.
According to the charge sheet, the victim left Kasargod on July 8, 2009 to visit a temple at her home town Sullia from where Mohan took her to Bengaluru on the pretext of marrying her and had physical relationship with her in a city lodge where he kept her for three days.
"When the family members enquired about the victim three days later, Mohan told them that they both were married and would return to Sullia soon. He did not, however, allow them to speak to the victim," the charge sheet said.
"Kumar took the victim to the bus stand for returning to Sullia and gave her a cyanide tablet saying it was a contraceptive pill to prevent pregnancy. She collapsed in a toilet near the bus stand soon after consuming it while Kumar vanished from the spot. A constable rushed her to a hospital where she was declared brought dead," Harish said.
Autopsy of the victim revealed traces of cyanide in her body.
In earlier cases too, Kumar was convicted of luring women who were unable to pay dowry or find compatible husbands to marry.
"Kumar's modus operandi was to kill them by giving cyanide pills, claiming they were contraceptives, and rob them of their jewellery," added Harish.