Owner Of A Wildly Popular Restaurant Chain Gets Life Term In Murder Case

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The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the life imprisonment of P. Rajagopal, the owner of south Indian hotel chain Saravana Bhavan, for murdering an employee in October 2001 so as to marry his wife.

A bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana gave Rajagopal time till July 7 to surrender.

The ruling comes on the Madras High Court order upholding his life imprisonment. The High Court had enhanced the 10-year sentence given by a trial court.

When contacted, Rajagopal's son P.R. Shivakumar told IANS: "I just got an SMS about the verdict. I have to get more details."

The hugely popular hotel chain has outlets within and outside India and is now managed by Shivakumar. The South Indian restaurant chain, Saravana Bhavan has 33 outposts in India and 47 around the world.

P. Rajagopal, was sentenced to life in prison in India in 2009 on charges of murdering his employee, Prince Shantakumar, so as to marry his wife.

However, India's highest court had granted him a bail in May 2009, when the lawyer of the accused claimed that Rajagopal needed to go through medical treatment for paralysis, reported One India News. He served just 11 months of that sentence.

With IANS
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