The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to popular South Indian hotel chain Sarvana Bhavan propietor P Rajagopal, who faces life sentence for murdering an employee to allegedly marry his wife, in view of his health.
A bench of Justices BN Aggrawal and GS Singhvi said the accused shall be released on bail till the disposal of the criminal appeal in view of his medical condition.
The apex court granted the bail after senior counsel Sushil Kumar pleaded that Rajagopal be granted bail as he was suffering from paralysis and needed medical treatment.
Two others Janardhanan and Tamil Selvam, who are facing two years sentenced in the case, have also been granted bail by the apex court.
On March 19, 2009, the Madras High Court enhanced the 10 year sentence imposed by the sesssion court on Rajgopal and five others to life imprisonment on the ground that their offence fell under Section 302 IPC(murder) and not 304 Part-1 8 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). Three other accused were sentenced to imprisonment upto two years.
It was the case of the prosecution that Rajagopal wanted to marry Jeevajothi as his third wife and accordingly plotted the murder of her husband Santhakumar, an employee of the group.
Santhakumar was murdered and his body buried in Perumalmalai and Kodaikanal forest ranged in October 1.
Besides Rajagopal, others sentenced to life imprisonment by the high court are Daniel, Karmegam, Hussain alias Zakir Hussain, Kasi alias Kasi Viswanathana and Pattu Rajan.