The founder of South Indian food chain Saravana Bhavan P Rajagopal at his surrender in a Chennai court to serve a life term for murder.(PTI)
The founder of South Indian food chain Saravana Bhavan P Rajagopal at his surrender in a Chennai court to serve a life term for murder.(PTI)

Saravana Bhavan founder ordered to serve time for murder shifted to ICU, High Court okays shifting him to pvt hospital

P Rajagopal, founder of the Saravana Bhavan restaurant chain had surrendered on July 9 to serve a life term for murdering an employee whose wife he wanted to marry,
Hindustan Times, Chennai | By M Manikandan
UPDATED ON JUL 18, 2019 11:33 AM IST

The Madras High Court (MHC) on Tuesday allowed Saravana Bhavan restaurant chain owner P Rajagopal (72) who is serving life term in a murder case, to seek treatment at a private hospital for a range of health issues.

A division bench of Justice M M Sundaresh and Justice M Nirmal Kumar gave the order on a petition filed by Rajagopal’s son R Saravanan.

Read: Saravana Bhavan owner Rajagopal dies in Chennai hospital

Hours after Rajagopal who was also known as Dosa King surrendered before an Additional Magistrate Court’s Judge in Chennai on July 9, he was admitted to the prisoner’s ward of Stanley Government Medical College Hospital.

According to doctors who were treating Rajagopal, the convict’s health was deteriorating since Saturday.

“Since Rajagopal has diabetes, hypertension and kidney-related issues, he is critical now. As his kidneys are failing, he is admitted into the Intensive Care Unit and on the ventilator support,” P Ramesh, Resident Medical Officer, Stanley Government Medical College said.

On Monday, Saravanan filed a petition in the high court stating that he was not in a position attend his ailing father.

“While our father was taking prescribed drugs for his age-related ailments all these days under the directions of doctors, the nature of drugs and treatment were changed at Stanley Government hospital. So, his health has started deteriorating since Saturday last. He suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday and has started recovering only from Sunday,” Saravanan said in his petition.

He also said that the Stanley hospital lacks some medical facilities which are essential for his father’s treatment.

“Some of the tests suggested by the doctors who attend to my father are unavailable at Stanley hospital. In order to improve his health, we want to treat our father in a private hospital, preferably at Vijaya Health Center or SRM hospital where Rajagopal had been treated in the past,” Saravanan further stated.

He also stated that keeping his father in Stanley Government Medical College Hospital was a violation of rights under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The judges who heard the matter on Tuesday asked the Tamil Nadu government to file the medication details of Rajagopal. Even as the government pleader submitted the details, the Court allowed for Rajagopal to be treated at a private hospital. It has also directed the petitioner to bear the medical expenses of his father.

The murder for which Rajagopal was convicted dates back to 2001. He wanted marry his employee Prince Santhakumar’s wife Jeevajyothi who would have been his third wife. However, Jeevajyothihad rejected the restaurant owner’s advances. Rajagopal then ordered Santhakumar’s murder.

A Sessions Court found Rajagopal as guilty and awarded 10 years of imprisonment in 2004. When Rajagopal appealed against the judgment, the HC increased the punishment by changing it to a life-term conviction in 2009.

Though Rajagopal sought relief from the Supreme Court, it upheld the high court order in March. While he was scheduled to surrender on July 7, Rajagopal petitioned the SC to give him more time. However, the SC rejected his plea and directed him to surrender immediately.

Rajagopal who was under treatment in a private hospital at Chennai had arrived at the court in an ambulance to surrender on July 9.

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