New Delhi, July 9: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to grant relief to Saravana Bhavan owner, P Rajagopal, to delay the start of his prison sentence on the grounds of bad health. The apex court questioned the legitimacy of the request as he had failed to report any medical condition during the early hearings. Fall of Saravana Bhavan’s 'Dosa King': How Obsession with a Married Woman Led P Rajagopal to Commit Murder.
Justice NV Ramana rejected the extension of the deadline and said that he must surrender immediately. P Rajagopal was out on bail on health grounds and was directed to surrender by July 7. The Saravana Bhavan was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2004 but after an appeal, he was convicted of murder and sentenced for life. Supreme Court Upholds Conviction, Life Imprisonment of Saravana Bhavan Founder P Rajagopal in Murder Case.
In 2001, Rajagopal was accused of kidnapping and murder of Shantakumar, husband of Jeevajyothi, whom he wanted to marry. Shantakumar was abducted and murdered in Kodaikanal. The crime came to light when forest officials found his body on Tiger Chola Forests.
In 2004, a special court found the hotelier guilty and awarded 10-years of rigorous imprisonment. Rajagopal challenged the court's order and prosecution sought intensification of the punishment. Thus in 2009, the Madras High Court granted him life imprisonment and imposed a Rs 55 lakh fine, including 50 lakh compensation to Jeevajyothi. On March 29, the top court dismissing the appeals confirmed the life sentence to Rajagopal.