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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

Saravana Bhavan owner Rajagopal, serving life term for murder, dies in Chennai hospital

The Madras High Court had on Tuesday allowed Saravana Bhavan founder Rajagopal to seek treatment at a private hospital several health issues.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2019 12:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi

Saravana Bhavan restaurant chain owner P Rajagopal (72) died in a Chennai hospital on Thursday, two days after he was shifted from jail where he was serving life term for murdering his employee.

The Madras High Court had on Tuesday allowed Rajagopal to seek treatment at a private hospital for several health issues following which he was shifted from government Stanley Hospital where he was being treated in the prison ward.

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.

According to doctors who were treating Rajagopal, his health was deteriorating since Saturday and hence was admitted into Intensive Care Unit and put on ventilator support.

The murder for which Rajagopal, known as India’s ‘dosa king’ was convicted dates back to 2001. He wanted to 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.