29/03/2019 11:39 AM IST | Updated 29/03/2019 12:47 PM IST

SC Upholds Life Term For Saravana Bhavan Owner P Rajagopal In 2001 Murder Case

Rajagopal was convicted of murdering one of his employees in 2001 to marry the man’s wife.

Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the Madras High Court’s order of conviction and life term for Saravana Bhavan owner, P Rajagopal, in a 2001 murder case, the Bar & Bench reported.

Rajagopal has been given time till 7 July to surrender, The Hindu reported.

He was among six accused of murdering one of his employees in 2001 to marry the man’s wife, the report said.

The Madras High Court had in 2009 sentenced the accused to life imprisonment.

The convicts had appealed the sentence in the Supreme Court which had granted them bail the same year, the report said.

According to The NewsMinute, P Rajagopal hired eight men to abduct and murder Prince Santhakumar, who was married to Jeevajyothi, the daughter of his employee.

Rajagopal had wanted to marry 20-year-old Jeevajyothi, who had refused. He already had two wives at the time, according to the Indian Express.

Santhakumar joined Saravana Bhavan in 1999. In October 2001, the couple had filed a police complaint against Rajagopal and his gang, saying they had been abducted and intimidated, the report said.

Santhakumar was abducted from Chennai the same month.

His body was found by forest officials at Perumalmalai in Kodaikanal, according to The Hindu’s report.

Rajagopal surrendered on November 23, Express reported, but got bail in 2003.

Jeevajyothi’s family later accused him of intimidation and attempting to bribe them.