Saravana Bhavan owner’s son says father has suffered a heart attack

Saravana Bhavan owner’s son says father has suffered a heart attack

S Murari

Saravana Bhavan chain of hotels owner P Rajagopal,now undergoing life imprisonment in a murder case, has suffered a heart attack in Government hospital, his son has told the Madras High Court and petitioned that he be shifted to a private hospital .

P Saravanan, son of Rajagopal who surrendered before a Chennai court on July 9 on the orders of the Supreme Court to undergo life imprisonment given for the murder of Prince Santhakumar in 2001, told a division bench comprising Justices M M Sundaresh and M Nirmal Kumar, that he had suffered a heart attack days after he surrendered and went to jail on July 9.

He said doctors at Puzhal prison found him be having high blood pressure and other ailments and advised his immediate hospitalization. Quoting Dr P Ramesh, resident medical officer of Stanley Medical College Hospital, Saravanan said Rajagopal (80) suffered a heart attack on July 13 and was now on ventilator support.

Rajagopal, who started as a grocer struck it rich when he started Saravana Bhavan hotel in Ashok Nagar in the late 1980s. It soon clicked and it now has branches all over the world. Rajagopal, to make up for lost youth, turned a womaniser. He got besotted with Jeevajothi, a girl in her 20s and daughter of an employee. To get her, he plotted and killed her husband Prince Santhakumar in 2001.

The sessions court sentenced him to ten years in 2004 and the Madras High Court enhanced it to life four years later. The Supreme Court confirmed it in March this year. Earlier this month, it rejected Rajagopal’s plea that he be given time to surrender in view of his health condition or serve his term in hospital.

Thereafter he surrendered before a sessions court . He was brought to the court in a stretcher and on ventilator support and was lodged in Puzhal jail.