On Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected the founder of the restaurant chain 'Saravana Bhavan'—P Rajagopal's plea to extend time on health grounds to surrender in a murder case.
On 29 March, a bench of judges Ramana, Shantanagoudar and Indira Banerjee had dismissed the batch of appeals lodged against Madras High Court 2009 judgement, which convicted Rajagopal and his assistants for the murder of restaurant worker Santhakumar in 2001. Rajagopal was provided time to surrender by the Court until July 7.
As the deadline approached, Rajagopal was admitted to a hospital and submitted a request to extend the time for surrender. He would have to surrender instantly with the apex court dismissing his plea.
The crime was committed with Rajagopal's motivation to take Jeevajothi as his third wife, the wife of deceased Santhakumar. This was based on the recommendation of an astrologer to make his company prosper by marrying Jeevajothi. In 2004, the trial court sentenced Rajagopal to 10 years' imprisonment under section 304 of the IPC (murder-free homicide), which Madras HC increased to life imprisonment under section 302 IPC(murder).
The case was completely based on circumstantial proof. In the case of one of the accused Daniel, a mercenary employed by Rajagopal, the prosecution depended primarily on three conditions to demonstrate the accused's guilt-motive, last seen circumstance and restoration of the deceased body. The Court called prosecution witness testimonies "overwhelming, steadfast, cogent, homogeneous, coherent, and credible." It observed that no explanation had been provided by the accused to disprove the powerful proof against them.
Tags : #Legal