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The Supreme Court today declined to entertain the application filed by P Rajagopal, founder of the restaurant chain Saravana Bhavan, who had sought an extension of time to surrender before the court.
Rajagopal, who has been convicted in a murder case and sentenced to a life term, had moved the Supreme Court seeking an extension of the time for the commencement of his sentence. He had cited medical grounds for seeking relief.
The Bench of Justices NV Ramana, M Mohan Shanatanagoudar, and Ajay Rastogi, however, declined to grant the relief prayed by Rajagopal.
Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal representing Rajagopal apprised the Court of his medical condition and said that he is “very ill.”
Unimpressed by the submission, Justice Ramana told Sibal that the medical condition of the accused should have been brought on record during the proceedings in the case.
“It is unfair on the part of your client, Mr. Sibal. Why did he not tell about his ill health during the hearing of his appeal“, Justice Ramana remarked.
Echoing the same sentiment, Justice Shanatanagoudar said that no interference at this point was required.
In March this year, a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court had upheld the conviction and life imprisonment awarded to P Rajagopal.
The Saravana Bhavan owner, along with five others, had been accused of murdering one of his employees in order to marry the employee’s wife.
They 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.
Following the Supreme Court’s confirmation of his sentence, the Rajagopal was expected to surrender before the court or the local police on July 7, Sunday. However, he failed to do so. It is reported that he got admitted to a hospital on July 4, after spending the last few months since his sentence at his Ashok Nagar residence.
Image Credit: Mahesh Shantaram for The New York Times