LAKSHMIKANTHAN, the editor of Cinema Thootu and Hindu Nesan weekly magazines made baseless charges against prominent film personalities, including K Thiagaraja Bhagavathar and N S Krishnan, in his articles. Week after week, Hindu Nesan was full of juicy stuff detailing how the famous duo had been engaging in ‘sexual irregularities’ seducing young girls. The infuriated stars approached the Governor in 1944, seeking action against Lakshmikanthan.
On November 8, 1944, the editor of the sleazy magazines was murdered and on December 28, 1944, both actors were arrested.
The entire State was shocked. Bhagavathar’s Haridoss was a runaway hit and that prompted producers to book the actor for about a dozen films. At the time of his arrest, Bhagavathar was busy acting in 'Udayanan'. Krishnan too was a very successful actor.
The prosecution argued that Bhagavathar and Krishnan had a motive for being parties to the conspiracy to murder of Lakshmikanthan.
The sessions court, where the trial was held, sentenced the duo to life imprisonment and the Madras High Court later confirmed the verdict.
When the stars went on appeal to the Privy Council, it remitted the case back to the Madras High Court.
Delivering the judgment on the criminal appeal, Justice Happell and Justice Shahabudin of the Madras High Court acquitted Bhagavathar and Krishnan saying that the “conviction of the appellants on the uncorroborated testimony of the approver in the case could not be sustained.” After spending two years, two months and 13 days in prison, Bhagavathar and Krishnan were freed on April 25, 1947.