Saravana Bhavan owner passes away

Hotel Saravana Bhavan owner P Rajagopal died today morning after he suffered a heart attack at a private hospital in Chennai.

He died a week after he surrendered at a court in Chennai to start a life term for the 2001 kidnapping and murder of a man.

On July 10, 72-year-old Rajagopal had arrived in an ambulance with an oxygen mask strapped to his face after the Supreme Court turned down a plea to delay his sentence on medical grounds.

Rajagopal, who was initially admitted to a government hospital, had been admitted to a private hospital a couple of days ago following a direction from the Madras High Court.

Madras High Court had permitted Rajagopal to shift to  private hospital for heart treatment from Government Stanley hospital after his surrendered to serve life sentence in the murder case.

While upholding the life sentence awarded to Rajagopal for murdering once Prince Santhakumar in October 2001 to marry his wife, the Supreme Court had ordered him to surrender in the trial court on July 7.

The Madras HC had on Tuesday permitted Rajagopal to shift to a private facility for further treatment after he surrendered to serve the life sentence.

Passing an interim order on a petition filed by Rajagopal’s son, the court had directed the state government and the prison authorities to transfer the hotelier from the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital to the Vijaya Hospital.

Referring to a report filed by authorities of Stanley hospital that Rajagopal had already suffered two episodes of cardiac arrest and shifting him was risky, the court said the transfer and treatment were at the risk of the petitioner and authorities cannot be held responsible.