The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to grant relief to Saravana Bhavan owner, P Rajagopal, seeking a direction for more time to surrender in a 2001 murder case.

Rajagopal had sought more time on medical grounds.

The apex court had in March upheld the life imprisonment of P Rajagopal for murdering employee, Prince Shantakumar, in October 2001 to marry his wife on the advice of an astrologer.

The bench headed by Justice NV Ramana had given Rajagopal time till July 7 to surrender.

The top court’s decision came on the Madras High Court order upholding his life imprisonment.

The body of Santhakumar was found by forest officials at Perumalmalai in Kodaikanal range in October 2001. It was buried in the Kodaikanal municipal burial ground. Later, the body was identified to be that of Santhakumar and a chargesheet filed for offences under section 302(murder) 364 (abduction) and 201 (destruction of evidence) IPC, following which the alleged conspiracy came to light.

On March 20, 2009, the Madras High Court convicted P Rajagopal, proprietor of the Saravana Bhavan hotels, under section 302 IPC (punishment for murder) and sentenced him to undergo life imprisonment along with the five others.

The High Court had enhanced the 10-year sentence given by a trial court.