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SC Upholds Life Term for Saravana Bhavan Owner for Employee's Murder

The murder, according to the prosecution, was plotted by Rajagopal as he wanted to marry Jeeva Jyothi, wife of the murdered employee, since an astrologer advised him to do so.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:March 29, 2019, 11:59 AM IST
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SC Upholds Life Term for Saravana Bhavan Owner for Employee's Murder
Illustration of Supreme Court. (Network18 Creatives)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday handed out life term to South Indian hotel chain Sarvana Bhavan’s owner P Rajagopal over getting a man murdered so as to marry the victim’s wife as per an astrologer’s advice.

A bench headed by Justice NV Ramana affirmed the life imprisonment also for the other accused in the case, who acted as Rajagopal's henchmen.

The top court noted that the Madras High Court order was completely justified in enhancing the punishment from 10 years in jail to life behind bars under the murder charge.

The bench further held that the evidence on record conclusively established the guilt of the Sarvana Bhavan proprietor and his henchmen who carried out the crime in 2001.

Rajagopal, 72, has been given time till July 7 to surrender. Rajagopal and five others were sentenced to life by the Madras High Court in 2009. Three others were sentenced to jail term up to two years.

The High Court had enhanced his jail term from the team years that was awarded to him by the trial court in 2004.

The apex court held the accused responsible for the sensational murder of Santhakumar, an employee of the popular Sarvana Bhavan group of hotels.

The murder, according to the prosecution, was plotted by Rajagopal as he wanted to marry Jeeva Jyothi, wife of the murdered employee, since an astrologer advised him to do so.

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