The founder and owner of hotel chain Saravana Bhavan, P Rajagopal has approached the Supreme Court on Monday seeking a delay in the beginning of his life term imprisonment.
He cited ill-health as the main reason in his appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had earlier ordered a life sentence to Rajagopal for the murder of husband of an employee whom he wanted to marry. The Supreme in its verdict had also directed Rajagopal, who is now in bail, to surrender by July 7.
Earlier, the Madras High Court had sentenced Rajagopal and six others to life imprisonment for the murder of “Prince” Santhakumar, husband of Jeevajothi who was daughter of an employee. The prosecution case is that Jeevajothi rejected Rajagopal’s advances and married Prince Shanthakumar. Rajagopal then hired a gang which killed Shanthakumar when he was honeymooning with Jeevajothi in Kodaikanal in 2001. His body was recovered from the forests in the Kodai hills.
Rajagopal and six hired killers were convicted by the Madras High Court in 2009 and sentenced to life in 2009. The case caused a sensation as Rajagopal’s was the story of a modest grocer in Chennai who built a hotel chain from hard earned money. The scandal, however, did not affect the brand name of Saravana Bhavan and it has since set up franchises 20 countries, including the US, the UK, France and Australia, besides South East Asia and UAE. In India it has restaurants in 20 cities, including New Delhi. It has since been bought the Maran brothers.