Supreme Court upholds life term for Saravana Bhavan owner Rajagopal in murder case

The owner of the popular chain of restaurants was convicted for the murder of Prince Santhakumar, whose wife he wanted to marry.

Updated - March 30, 2019 10:41 am IST

Published - March 29, 2019 11:22 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Saravana Bhavan hotels proprietor P. Rajagopal (centre) with his lawyers appearing in a court in Chennai. File photo

Saravana Bhavan hotels proprietor P. Rajagopal (centre) with his lawyers appearing in a court in Chennai. File photo

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the life imprisonment awarded by the Madras High Court to P. Rajagopal, owner of the popular Sarvana Bhavan chain of restaurants, in the Prince Santhakumar murder case.

A Bench, led by Justice N.V. Ramana, gave him time till July 7 to surrender on medical grounds.

Prince Santhakumar's wife Jeevajothi is the daughter of Ramaswamy, who was an employee of Saravana Bhavan. Rajagopal wanted to marry her but she did not oblige. Hence Rajagopal plotted the murder, according to the prosecution.

The Supreme Court granted bail to him in 2009 on health reasons.

The court also granted bail to Daniel, Karmegam, Hussain alias Zakir Hussain, Kasi alias Kasi Viswanathan and Pattu Rajan. They, according to the prosecution, were hired by Rajagopal to commit the murder.

The body of Santhakumar was found by forest officials at Perumalmalai in the Kodaikanal range in October 2001. It was buried in the Kodaikanal municipal burial ground. Later, the body was identified to be that of Santhakumar and a charge sheet filed for offences under section 302(murder) 364 (abduction) and 201 (destruction of evidence) IPC, following which the alleged conspiracy came to light.

The Madras High Court had convicted Rajagopal under section 302 IPC (punishment for murder) and sentenced him to undergo life imprisonment along with the five others.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.