the 'Dosa King' hired a hitman to kill her husband Prince Santhakumar.
Indian restaurant tycoon P Rajagopal, also known as the ‘Dosa King’ will finally serve his life sentence for murdering a love rival, 15 years after he was convicted.
He killed the husband of a woman he wanted to marry.
Rajagopal got the ‘Dosa King’ moniker after he founded the popular Indian restaurant chain Saravana Bhavan in 1981.
His business has 80 locations across several countries in Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Europe, North America and the Middle East.
Rajagopal was convicted of orchestrating the abduction and murder of his love interest’s husband.
The case goes back to 2001 when Rajagopal had unsuccessfully tried to persuade the married 21-year-old daughter of an employee.
At the time, Rajagopal had two wives. He pursued the woman under the advice of his astrologer who told him that he would become rich if he married her.
He lavished the woman with expensive gifts and told her false stories about her husband, including that he had HIV. However, she rejected him.
In September 2001, the couple decided to move to get away from the businessman. But Rajagopal orchestrated their abduction.
The couple were threatened and beaten but they survived the attack.
Later that year, the ‘Dosa King’ hired a hitman to kill her husband Prince Santhakumar. His body was found in a forest in Tamil Nadu on October 31, 2001. It is believed that he was strangled to death.
In 2004, Rajagopal and eight others were sentenced to 10 years in prison.
However, he has managed to avoid serving his sentence until the week commencing July 8, 2019, as a result of a protracted appeals process.
In that time, his dosa business continued to thrive and grow.
In 2009, Rajagopal appealed his conviction, but he was unsuccessful. His punishment was later extended to a life sentence.
However, the restaurant mogul continued to appeal his conviction through the Indian courts and was released on bail multiple times.
In March 2019, the Supreme Court confirmed his life sentence, leaving him no further opportunities for a legal dispute.
His was directed to surrender and on July 9, 2019, the ‘Dosa King’ turned himself in at the Madras High Court.
Aishwarya Bhati, representing Rajagopal, said:
“We filed it (the last appeal) last week and the Supreme Court rejected it on Monday. He surrendered yesterday to the local trial court in Chennai.”
She added that her client is in poor health. He appeared before the court in a wheelchair.
Rajagopal has started his jail term but will be released if the authorities find that his condition is deteriorating, in which case he will be moved to a hospital for medical attention.