Supreme Court rejects Saravana Bhavan founder's plea seeking time to surrender in murder case

ANI Delhi Jul 09, 2019, 01.33 PM(IST)

File photo of the Supreme Court. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Rajagopal had moved the court seeking more time to surrender citing medical grounds.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to grant relief to P Rajagopal, founder of Saravana Bhavan restaurant group, who had sought more time to surrender in a 2001 murder case.

The apex court had, on March 29, convicted and sentenced him to rigorous life imprisonment for murdering one of his employees. He was directed to surrender by July 7.

Rajagopal had moved the court seeking more time to surrender citing medical grounds. His plea was, however, dismissed by a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana, today.

According to the prosecution, an astrologer advised Rajagopal to marry Jeevajothi, the daughter of a Saravana Bhavan employee, in order to become rich, following which he tried to woo her. 

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As he could not succeed in his plan, he hatched a criminal conspiracy to eliminate the employee of Saravana hotel, Prince Shantakumar, who was married to Jeevajothi.

Shantakumar was murdered in October 2001 and his dead body was found in Kodaikanal city of Tamil Nadu.

A Sessions Court had convicted Rajagopal and four others to ten years of imprisonment, but later the Madras high court set aside the Sessions court`s order and increased the jail term to life term under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Rajagopal then challenged the high court`s order before the apex court, which was rejected. Upholding the Madras HC judgement, the top court convicted and sentenced Rajagopal to life imprisonment.