SC upholds life term to Saravana Bhavan owner Rajagopal who killed man to marry his wife

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New Delhi | Updated: March 29, 2019 1:07:52 PM

Rajagopal reportedly had Santhakumar kidnapped by eight men and his body was found a few days later near the Western Ghats mountain ranges.

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The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the Madras High Court order of handing life term to 72-year-old P Rajagopal, the founder of the Saravana Bhavan chain of hotels, for killing one of his employees in 2001.

This verdict comes 18 years after the gruesome crime. Rajagopal, who has been convicted, was out on bail and now will be surrendering by the first week of July due to medical reasons.

As per The News Minute, the owner of the popular South Indian restaurant chain Saravana Bhavan murdered Prince Santhakumar in 2001, so that he could marry the employee’s wife, then 20 years old, on the advice of an astrologer to make her his third wife.

In 2009, the Madras High Court had given life term to Rajagopal, also known as Annachi, and eight other accomplices in the murder case. Rajagopal reportedly had Santhakumar kidnapped by eight men and his body was found a few days later near the Western Ghats mountain ranges.

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Additional Advocate General Balaji Srinivasan represented the state government. A bench comprising bench of Justices N V Ramana and M Shantanagoudar of the apex court dismissed pleas by Rajagopal and others. Their sentence was increased to a life term by the Madras High Court in March 2009 as the high court held them guilty of the killing. The sessions court had earlier found them guilty under culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced them to a 10-year jail term.

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