NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the conviction and existence sentence offered to P Rajagopal, owner of famous south Indian restaurant chain Saravana Bhavan, for murdering one of his personnel 18 years in the past to take the widow as his 0.33 spouse.
A bench of Justices NV Ramana, Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Indira Banerjee took be aware of the circumstantial and forensic proof, inclusive of DNA reviews, to finish that Rajagopal, with the help of 4 others, had meticulously deliberate and performed the abduction and homicide of Shivakumar in 2001 to enable him to fulfill his preference of marrying Shanta Kumar’s wife.
“Having regard to entire fabric on record and totality of facts and occasions, we find that the evidence fully proves the prosecution case and that the trial court docket, as well as the excessive court docket, evaluated the material on the document in its right perspective even as coming to their conclusion. Thus, the judgment of the trial court as changed by using the HC need not be interfered with,” the bench stated and dismissed the attraction in opposition to the Madras HC’s selection to award existence sentence to Rajagopal and his buddies in crime.
The SC gave info of Rajagopal’s obsession with taking the married lady as his third spouse. “Rajagopal is the proprietor of a sequence of lodges (Saravana Bhavan). Either upon the recommendation of an astrologer or having come to be besotted with the woman, he had manifested a keen choice to take her as his 1/3 wife, even though she turned into already married to Santhakumar (the deceased).
“To fulfill his desire, Rajagopal used to financially assist the girl, her family contributors and her husband. He used to talk to her over the phone often, and also gave her high-priced items inclusive of jewelry and silk sarees or even went to the extent of paying her scientific bills. In a further bid to gain her love and affection, he often interfered in her non-public subjects,” the court said earlier than detailing the way wherein Rajagopal were given Santhakumar murdered to fulfill his preference.
Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Shantanagoudar said though the prosecution case hinged in particular on circumstantial proof and the idea of the deceased last visible with the accused, it changed into properly set up that “if the alleged instances are conclusively proved before the court by main cogent and reliable evidence, the courtroom want no longer appearance any in addition earlier than asserting the guilt of the accused. Moreover, human corporation may be defective in expressing the picturisation of the real incident however occasions can not fail or be overlooked. As aptly put in this oft-quoted phrase, ‘guys may additionally lie, but instances do no longer'”.
Rejecting the defence argument that the superimposition take a look at achieved by using police to perceive Shantakumar’s frame was unreliable, the bench said, “We would like to be aware that the use of the superimposition technique in Indian investigations for identity purposes is not a new phenomenon. Notably, it’s been employed inside the investigations bearing on the Nithari murders, the Russian murder incident in Goa in 2008 or even before that inside the Morni Hill murder case and the Paharganj bomb blast case as some distance lower back as in 1996, and the Udhampur murder case in 2005.”