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SC upholds conviction, life imprisonment of Saravana Bhavan founder in murder case

ANI | Updated: Mar 29, 2019 13:33 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): Upholding the Madras High Court judgement, the Supreme Court on Friday convicted and sentenced P Rajagopal, the owner of Saravana Bhavan restaurant group, to rigorous life imprisonment for murdering one of his employees so that he can marry the employee's wife.
A division bench of the apex court, headed by Justice N V Ramanna and also comprising Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, passed the verdict today against the convict, Rajagopal.
The top court rejected the submissions by Rajagopal that he was not the culprit in the case.
"We upheld Madras High Court judgement. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal filed by the convict (Rajagopal) in the case," the top court bench said while pronouncing the verdict.
According to the prosecution, Rajagopal, after getting the advice from an astrologer that he should marry Jeevajothi, the daughter of a Saravana Bhavan employee, to become rich. Thereby, he tried to woo Jeevajothi in 1990. Rajagopal wanted her (Jeevajothi) to marry him and be his third wife.
As he could not succeed in his plan, Rajagopal hatched a criminal conspiracy to eliminate the employee of Saravana hotel, Prince Shantakumar, who married Jeevajothi. Shantakumar was murdered in October 2001 and his dead body was found in Kodaikanal, the prosecution said.
A Sessions Court had convicted Rajagopal and four others to ten years of imprisonment, but later the Madras High Court had set aside the Sessions Court's order and enhanced the jail term to life term under section 302 (Murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The order of the Madras court was challenged by Rajagopal before the apex court, which rejected his plea today. (ANI)