Saravana Bhavan owner fails to surrender

Rajagopal, who is said to have taken ill, is likely to approach the Supreme Court on Monday morning to seek more time to surrender

P Rajagopal, whose rags-to-riches story of building a successful chain of restaurants across the world caught everyone's attention, has failed to surrender before a court here on Sunday ostensibly owing to ill-health.

The owner of the famous Hotel Saravana Bhavan, that spread its wings in almost every country where South Indians form a major chunk, was to surrender on Sunday to serve the remainder of his life-term awarded in a kidnap-cum-murder case.

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Rajagopal, who is said to have taken ill, is likely to approach the Supreme Court on Monday morning to seek more time to surrender before a court in the Prince Santhakumar murder case. The Supreme Court had in March this year upheld the life sentence awarded to Rajagopal in the nearly two-decade-old case and ordered him to surrender by July 7.

Sources said Rajagopal got himself admitted to a hospital last week and is unlikely to surrender before the court. The case relates to the murder of Santhakumar, the husband of Jeevajothi - whom Rajagopal wanted to marry as his third wife on the advice of an astrologer.

Jeevajothi is the daughter of Rajagopal’s employee and the restaurant owner fell in love with her and wanted to marry her, despite the fact that she was in love with Santhakumar and had married him without the consent of her parents. After failing to convince Jeevajothi to ditch her husband and come to him, Rajagopal hired henchmen to  kidnap and murder Santhakumar.

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