SC confirms life term for Saravana Bhavan owner in 2001 murder case
New Delhi, Mar 29: The Supreme Court on Friday confirmed the conviction of Saravana Bhavan owner P Rajagopal's conviction and life imprisonment for the abduction and murder of Prince Santhakumar in 2001.
The judgment was pronounced by a Bench presided by Justice N V Ramana.
Rajagopal along with five others had been accused of murdering one of his employees in order to marry the employee's wife.
The body of Santhakumar was found by forest officials at Perumalmalai in 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 chargesheet filed for offences under section 302(murder) 364 (abduction) and 201 (destruction of evidence) IPC, following which the alleged conspiracy came to light.
On March 20, the Madras High Court convicted Rajagopal, proprietor of the Saravana Bhavan hotels, under section 302 IPC (punishment for murder) and sentenced him to undergo life imprisonment along with the five others who were granted bail by the apex on Wednesday.
The high court had enhanced the sentence from 10 years to life imprisonment on an appeal filed by the state government after the sessions court held them guilty under IPC Section 304 Part-I (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and imposed a sentence for 10 years.