New Delhi: The Supreme Court has upheld its verdict on the owner of Saravana Bhavan - a popular chain of restaurants in Tamil Nadu - after he was convicted of murder. A bench, led by Justice NV Ramana, gave him time till July 7 to surrender on medical grounds.

P Rajagopal, who is the owner of Saravana Bhavan chain of restaurants was convicted of murdering his employee, Prince Shanthakumar in the year 2001. 

Rajagopal and five others were convicted by the sessions court for murder and had been sentenced to ten years imprisonment.

The Madras high court had enhanced the sentence to life imprisonment leading to the appeal in the Supreme Court by the convicts.

The Supreme Court bench of Justices BN Agrawal and GS Singhvi had granted bail to the convicts in 2009.

Bail was also granted to Daniel, Karmegam, Hussain alias Zakir Hussain, Kasi alias Kasi Viswanathan and Pattu Rajan. The prosecution said that Rajagopal had hired them to carry out the murder.

Back in the 1990s, Rajagopal had his eye on a woman named Jeevajothi, who was the daughter of one of the employees at Saravana Bhavan, even though he had already been married twice before.

Rajagopal wanted Jeevajothi to be his third wife, but she denied his proposal.

Jeevajothi went on to marry Prince Santhakumar and an enraged Rajagopal decided to have him finished.

Prince Santhakumar is believed to have been kidnapped and taken to Kodaikanal where he was killed.

Santhakumar’s body was found by forest officials at Perumalmalai in Kodaikanal. A charge sheet was filed for offences under section 302(murder) 364 (abduction) and 201 (destruction of evidence) IPC.

The Madras high court had convicted Rajagopal under section 302 IPC (punishment for murder) and sentenced him to undergo life imprisonment along with five others.

Saravana Bhavan’s Rajagopal and others were represented by senior advocate Sushil Kumar while the state of Tamil Nadu was represented by additional advocate general Balaji Srinivasan.